Archive for November, 2009

Climate Change; Africa’s nemesis

November 30, 2009

Whilst commuting on the Central Line train, my eyes made contact with an advertisement that read something like…

“Developing countries are not interested in the effects of climate change, they already know it.”

In my curiosity, I decided to check up a list of countries that have been worst hit by climate change. I realised that the bulk of the list, constituted countries located in sub-Saharan Africa.

Secondly, I discovered that Africa remains a hub of social unrests which are closely linked to climate change. Below is an article from the World Development Briefing ( Blood Boiling) which supports my findings:

http://immigrantmagazine.co.uk/2009/11/world-development-briefing/

Given the dreadful effect of climate change on this part of the world, African delegates (in a pre Copenhagen summit held in Barcelona) are clamouring for the developed countries to show commitment in a climate change treaty.

This treaty, they advocate, will result in the developed countries (especially the European Union and United States) reducing their emission of green house gases by up to 40%. Without conclusive negotiations on this subject, the possibility of reaching a unanimous agreement in the December becomes nothing short of illusion. Below is a short video clip…

Africa calls the tune at UN climate talks

By: Joseph Ageyo on November 4th, 2009

Barcelona climate talks stall as African delegations demand action.

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China unveils emissions targets ahead of Copenhagen

November 30, 2009

I was watching the news this week when i came accross this topic and decided to research on it a bit further. Below is an article that was published on the bbc news website regarding the cutting of co2 emmissions by both China and the US ahead of the Copenhagen UN summit due to take place from 7th december. It raised a number of questions in my head and would really appreciate your views on this (note the analysis by richard black).

China has unveiled its first firm target for limiting greenhouse gas emissions, two weeks before a global summit on climate change in Copenhagen.

Beijing said it would aim to reduce its “carbon intensity” by 40-45% by the year 2020, compared with 2005 levels.

Carbon intensity, China’s preferred measurement, is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for each unit of GDP.

But our correspondent says it does not mean China’s overall levels of carbon dioxide will start falling.

Its economy is still growing and is mostly fuelled by polluting coal, says the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville in Beijing.

It will be at least a couple of decades before China’s emissions peak, so it is likely to remain the largest polluter for some time to come, he adds.

But greenhouse gas emissions in China have not been rising as fast as its economy has been growing.

Beijing also said on Thursday that Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao would attend the talks.

That confirmation came a day after US President Barack Obama said he would go to the summit.

The US – the second largest polluter after China – said President Obama would offer to cut US emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020.

But the offer was less than hoped for by the EU, Japan and UN scientists – most other countries’ targets are given in comparison with 1990 figures.

BBC environment correspondent Richard Black says that on that basis the US figure amounts to just a few percentage points, as its emissions have risen by about 15% since 1990.

This is much less than the EU’s pledge of a 20% cut over the same period, or a 30% cut if there is a global deal; and much less than the 25-40% figure that developing countries are demanding.

President Obama’s offer reflects figures in a bill narrowly passed by the House of Representatives in June, but yet to be confirmed by the Senate.

He will arrive at the summit after it opens and will not stay until the end, when delegates hope to stitch together a deal. While in Europe, he will also collect his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo.

Thursday’s announcement by China marks the first time it has issued numerical targets for plans to curb the growth of greenhouse gas emissions.

A statement from Beijing’s State Council, or cabinet, said: “This is a voluntary action taken by the Chinese government based on its own national conditions and is a major contribution to the global effort in tackling climate change,” Xinhua news agency reported.

Our Beijing correspondent says this is a commitment to make Chinese factories and power plants use fuel more efficiently and get better results.

China is showing that it wants to play a leading role in tackling global climate change, he adds.

It has already made a pledge to increase its renewable energy targets to grow more forests and develop green industries.

Yang Ailun, Greenpeace China’s climate campaign manager, told AFP news agency: “This is definitely a very positive step China is taking, but we think China can do more than this.”

ANALYSIS
Richard Black, BBC News environment correspondent

The 40-45% target for cutting carbon intensity is ambitious – more ambitious than many observers had expected.

But it doesn’t mean China’s emissions will fall – in fact they are still likely to rise, with the rate at which economic growth rises outstripping the rate at which carbon intensity falls.

This is exactly the kind of plan that major developing countries were supposed to take to the Copenhagen summit.

Coming on the heels of President Obama’s decision to put numbers on the table for cutting US emissions, it is likely to make discussions in Copenhagen a lot more straightforward.

But whether developing countries are impressed by the size of the US commitment is another matter.

Creative Commons License

November 29, 2009

Have you heard about Creative Commons License?

If “yes”, please share your views on it. If “no”, you can find out by following the link below

http://creativecommons.org/about

A resource and a question

November 29, 2009

While trying to find out the difference between a communal resources and a commons I came across the following website, which I thought might be useful to share.

http://onthecommons.org

It’s a great website. It’s even got a glossary of terms associated. I also liked that it recognises that markets still have a role to play in a commons-based society.

Anyway, while I’m here, I’ll post some questions to which I would be interested to hear your views. I would ask that you answer them going on the basis of what you have learned already, rather than going and researching these ideas before posting this.So my questions are:

Is there a difference between a commons and a communal resource?

If so, what is this difference?

If not, why do we have two names for the same concept? What more does the notion of a commoms bring?

Green Revolution/Biotech/Food security/Sustainability/Entitlements

November 27, 2009

 Since the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony is coming closer and our next lecture focuses on energy/food regimes and social justice I want to reflect on the Green Revolution and some related issues. This is because Norman Borlaug the “father” of the Green Revolution, who died this September, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 (for his lecture The Green Revolution, Peace, and Humanity please refer to http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1970/borlaug-lecture.html )

This posting is based on various different research I undertook during my prior studies. I thought I share my views with you and hope to enhance discussion.

So let’s start by clarifying what the “Green Revolution”, which was coined by William Gaud in 1968, was all about. It basic aim was to increase agricultural with the rationale to provide more bread for hungry people.” (Dahlberg, 1979:51) In addition, it was expected that landless peasants would benefit because of increased employment opportunities. (Niazi, 2004) Borlaug laboratory research, first field trials and commercial application started in Mexico during the early 1940s. However large scale implementation started during the 1960s in Asia (especially India) in response to concerns about potential famines.

Genetically improved seeds (scientists referred to them as high yielding varieties) were seen as the key to increasing productivity. Yet, they required high doses of fertilizer and water, hence they were input intensive. Critical voices such as Shiva (1991) George (1976) and Pathy (1986) point to commercial (western corporations benefited through new markets for fertilisers, pesticides and tractors) and geopolitical motivations behind it spread to Asia. In addition to the US administration of Lyndon Johnson both the Rockefeller and Ford foundation played a crucial role by financing the original research, providing training programmes to farmers; and publishing reports that recommended that developing countries adapt the Green Revolution.

”Western interests introduced the Revolution to sell inputs, but also to promote social stability through increased food production and the strengthening of a middle class peasantry in nations they saw as threatened by communism.” (George, 1976:p.128)

“Food dependency was used to set new policy conditions on India. The US President, Lyndon Johnson, put wheat supplies on a short tether. He refused to commit food aid beyond one month in advance until an agreement to adopt the Green Revolution package was signed.” (Shiva, 1991:31-32)

If one judges the outcomes of the Green Revolution only in terms of increase in productivity, for instance by the example of India, it appears to have been a success in the first instance. In less then 2 decades wheat production doubled and since it independence in 1947 experienced no famine. (Baker and Jewitt, 2007) Furthermore, “the Green Revolution in India has achieved self-sufficiency in food production.” (Singh, 2000:1) Nevertheless, this went hand in hand with raising inequalities in rural areas; greater regional disparities among the different states and environmental damage. Why was this the case?

In order to transform traditional agriculture on a large scale and at a fast pace, a top to bottom structure was adopted. The central government decided what regions would be most suitable for the implementation of the Green Revolution and lowered its import restrictions in order to promote the import and redistribution of the required inputs. Taken the earlier mentioned importance of irrigation into account, it appears reasonable that the HYV were only successful in raising output in areas that had irrigation networks in place. Therefore in the Indian case the success was restricted to the states of Haryana, Punjab and western Uttar Pradesh.

Punjab was the state with the most remarkable increase in production and became most prosperous state in India. (Kurian, 2002) “From 1966 to 1974, production of wheat, the primary winter crop, increased at an annual rate in excess of 9%. Rice, which was not widely grown prior to the Green Revolution, grew at a remarkable rate of 18% during this period. Overall, agricultural production increased at a rate of 6%“. (Murgai, 2001:199) Clearly, these figures are impressive. One might be tempted to interpret them as a great success and view the introduction of the Green Revolution as positive for Punjab. However, this would be a shortcoming because it is not obvious that they are a reliable indication for labelling the Green Revolution as beneficial for society in Punjab. The figures need to be weighted against the social and environmental impacts. Therefore, it is also important to recognise the negative aspects that are associated with the Green Revolution. Moreover, it is crucial to examine if these figures were sustained or if the growth in productivity declined again.

The valid argument that the Green Revolution was by no means scale neutral was developed by Byres (1981). The fact that the farmers were required to apply an entire ‘package’ of expensive inputs in order to receive the benefits of increased production, made their farming operation capital intensive. Frequently, small scale farmers, who accounted for approximately 50% of the farming population in Punjab, could not afford these farming methods. (Shiva, 1991) Hence, “the new technology of the Green Revolution might technically be scale neutral… but it was certainly not ‘resource neutral’.” (Harriss-White and Harriss, 2007:10) As elsewhere in India, Punjab experienced a reduction of small scale farms and a further concentration in landownership. “Between 1970 and 1980, the number of small holdings in the Punjab declined by nearly a quarter due to their economic non-viability.”(Shiva, 1991) Land evictions have played an infamous role in this process. Small tenant- or sharecrop farmers were facing higher rent demands from their landlords because of an increased value of land. Since they were generally the ones, who already could not afford to acquire the expensive input ‘package’, which was required to obtain an increase in production, they frequently could not meet these demands and lost their farming land. They became either landless agricultural workers or migrated to urban areas. In some instances the evictions even involved violence and caused deaths. (George, 1976)

In theory working opportunities for landless peasants should have increased for several reasons. For example, multi cropping raises the demand for labour because of more frequent harvest. HYV require intensive fertilization. It therefore implies that extra work is needed to apply the fertilizer in the fields and for weeding. (Lipton, 1989) Although, if in the beginning this was the case, it may be argued that this proved to be a wrong assumption. Together with the Green Revolution, Punjab and other areas experienced the spread of mechanization in agriculture on a large scale. Thus, in the words of Das, “associated mechanization – tractors, weedicides, more mechanized irrigation or threshing – has eroded employment opportunities.” (2002:59)

Turning to a further central critique point of the Green Revolution, the following paragraphs analyse its ecological impact. As one shall see there exists widespread evidence that it caused major harm to the environment. The cultivation of monocultures in a large scale, as it was the case with the HYV, has several implications.

First, simultaneous with their introduction arises the loss of biodiversity that according to Shiva (1991) has been a core principle of traditional agriculture in Punjab and responsible for stability in the local ecosystem. “The Green Revolution package has reduced genetic diversity at two levels. First, it replaced mixtures and rotations of crops like wheat, maize, millets, pulses and oil seeds with monocultures of wheat and rice. Second, the introduced wheat and rice varieties came from a very narrow genetic base.” (Shiva, 1991) This feature makes them vulnerable to disease and pest epidemics and demands pest control in form of the use of chemical pesticides. One problem that is associated with pesticides is the destruction of the natural enemies of the pest and that the pests overtime can develop resistances against the pesticides. (Van den Bosch, 1978) “In the Punjab, the rice variety PR 106, which currently accounts for 80 per cent of the area under rice cultivation, was considered resistant to whitebacked planthopper and stem rot when it was introduced in 1976. It has since become susceptible to both diseases.” (Shiva, 1991) The planting of rice and wheat HYV replaced traditional food staples, such as pulses, bajra, sordhum and millets and therefore reduced food variety. It could be argued that this has diminished food security because it caused dependences on the successful harvest of the rice and wheat monocultures. Crop failures would have a disastrous outcome. (George, 1976)

The second point of concern is, that heavy doses of pesticides and fertilizer, together with the overuse of the soil by the practices of multi cropping, which was possible because of the earlier mentioned shorter growing cycles, have severe impacts on water and soil quality. For instance, they have contaminated local streams and the groundwater, increased the erosion of soil and lowered the quality of the soil. (Yapa, 1993) The negative effect on the quality of soil is also reflected in the decline of productivity. Dasgupta (2000) refers to a 1998 government report and states that “unfortunately, the growth rate in productivity of rice and wheat has registered a decline in most of the districts in Punjab and Haryana. From a state average of 8.97 per cent during 1965-74, rice productivity declined rapidly to 2 per cent in the mid-1980s. In the last decade, there was only 1 per cent increase per year.“

Third, the requirement of intensive irrigation reduced the water table and caused water shortages. “Punjab and Haryana will turn into desert if the underground water sources continue to be over-exploited by the highly intensive agriculture practiced there. “(Batra, 1990) The findings of the Singh’s (2000) study on the environmental consequences of the Green Revolution in Haryana point to similar negative effects as the one in Punjab, which are described above.

From my point of view the Green Revolution illustrates well, that over the last couple of decades large scale development projects were frequently conducted in a technocratic top to bottom structure. Hence, few considerations were given to the serious effects on the grass root level. They were guided by technological determinism and a solely economic growth-centred ideology. Nevertheless, technological progress, as it was the case with the HYV, does not automatically lead to social progress. The harmful side effects of the Green Revolution may have been unanticipated but predictable if more emphasise would have been placed on the possible socio-economic and environmental consequences on the grass root level.

Regarding the promised increase in agricultural productivity it is clear that the Green Revolution achieved this promise in India, at least in the beginning. Although it may be appropriate to raise the question at which cost the achievement took place. If one applies the definition of sustainable development, which was laid out in the influential Brundtland Report as followed, “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987) it could be argued that the Green Revolution came at a high cost.

Clearly, the achievement of food self sufficiency in a country that has experienced famines is not to be neglected. Yet, the Green Revolution has not been sustainable in environmental terms and this might indeed undermine the ability of the next generations to meet its need to access food. The loss of biodiversity and soil degradation represents a threat to a successful future of the Indian agriculture and food security. Therefore, and after reviewing the socio-economic effects, I come to the conclusion that overall the Green Revolution in India has caused more negative then positive effects. In addition, the attention of agricultural policy makers and researchers needs to be directed towards more appropriate local technologies and farming techniques, which are environmental sound, socially inclusive and do not cause technological dependence. Many academics and non government organizations point to their experience that food production can be increased by the further improvement of traditional farming methods, such as crop rotation and intercropping ,at the grass-root level and through the application of appropriate technologies, which have a low cost, are ecologically sustainable and do work. According to Madeley (2000:144) “yields are increased and being sustained by using technological approaches that are based on agroecological principles which emphasize diversity, synergy, recycling and integration, community participation and empowerment.”

 These examples set a good contra point against the contemporary debate over the need for a second Green Revolution. Hence the direct modification of the genetic structure of crops through biotechnology (See Borlaug (2000) article “We Need Biotech To Feed The World” that first was printed in the Wall Street Journal and which interestingly Monsanto placed on its webpage http://www.monsanto.co.uk/news/ukshowlib.phtml?uid=4180 )

Biotechnology is not only questionable because of concerns about its safety and long-term effects, but even more due to giving monopoly power to multinational corporations and detrimental impacts on the already marginalized rural small-scale farmers. Altieri (2003) states that “biotechnology is a technology under corporate control, protected by patents and IPR, and thus contrary to farmers’ millenary traditions of saving and exchanging seeds.”

Nevertheless as one shall see, in order to achieve food security more than simply increasing food output is required. There have been cases were there was enough food on the local markets but the poor did not have the means to buy it. A crucial approach is Sen’s concept of entitlement. Regarding the entitlement to food it “concentrates on the ability of people to command food through the legal means available in the society, including the use of production possibilities, trade opportunities, entitlement vis-à-vis the state, and other methods of acquiring food.” (Sen, 1981:45) “What we can eat depends on what food we are able to acquire. The mere presence of food in the economy,…does not entitle a person to consume it.” (Dreze and Sen, 1989:9)

This implies that undernourished people face a crisis of entitlement. Therefore one core issue is to improve their entitlement. Options could include pro poor land reform, hence the distribution of landholdings to the landless. The socio-economic pattern of many developing countries societies, in which wealth is extremely concentrated among a small elite and based on land ownership, supports the case for pro poor land reform.

In addition a shift away from cash crops and biofuels is required. Why should developing countries focus on export orientated policies when one takes the negative experiences of growing cash crops into account and the fact that frequently their own population faces food insecurity. No progress towards food security will be made without the reversal of free trade policies. In contrast to these policies and as new approach to food security the concept of food sovereignty emerged in 1996 under the leadership of the global peasant movement Via Campesina. It may be viewed as precondition for food security. According to Menezes (2001:29) “food sovereignty is the right of each nation to maintain and develop its own capacity to produce the staple foods of its peoples, respecting their productive and cultural diversity.” In particular, the promotion and support of local producers and local markets is emphasized and receives a higher priority than trade concerns.

 

 

Apple wins Psystar Mac clone case

November 26, 2009

So not only Microsoft with it operating system windows are the “bad guys” from a P2P advocate point of view. Apple with Mac OS X is just as bad.  

 

Judge rules Psystar violated Apple copyright

David Neal, V3.co.uk 16 Nov 2009

A US court has ruled in favour of Apple at the close of a long-running legal battle with Mac clone maker Psystar.

Psystar was accused of violating Apple’s copyright when it installed the Mac OS X operating system on Intel-based computers.

Apple took Psystar to court 18 months ago, accusing the manufacturer of infringing its copyright and breaking the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

“Mac OS X on both Mac computers and the DVD are covered by software licence agreements that provide that the software is ‘licensed, not sold, to [the user] by Apple Inc’,” Apple said in court documents.

“Apple’s licence agreements restricted the use of Mac OS X to Apple computers, and specifically prohibited customers from installing the operating system on non-Apple computers.

“In brief, customers were contractually precluded from utilising Mac OS X on any computer hardware system that was not an Apple computer system.”

Psystar had been selling PCs with Apple’s Snow Leopard pre-installed, along with software tools that let users run Mac OS on any machine.

However, a US District Court judge ruled that Psystar had infringed Apple’s exclusive right to create derivative works of Mac OS X by replacing original files in Mac OS X with unauthorised software files.

“Specifically, it made three modifications: (1) replacing the Mac OS X bootloader with a different bootloader to enable an unauthorised copy of Mac OS X to run on Psystar’s computers; (2) disabling and removing Apple kernel extension files; and (3) adding non-Apple kernel extensions,” the judge said.

A hearing to determine the ‘remedies’ for the case will take place on 14 December.

Permalink: http://www.v3.co.uk/2253221

 

Tighter rules prompt 49,000 volunteers to quit Wikipedia

November 26, 2009

After our session od P2P I thought this could be of interested. As pointed out in the article below some researcher beleave that on of the best known P2P examples Wikipedia might not be substainable. So what do you guys think? Well, I think that the number of contributions to Wikipedia might fall but I doubt that it will vanish. This is a good example about the thine line of boundaries. Maybe Wikipedia has overregulated it self. See also last sentence of the aritcal.

Ross Lydall http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23774713-wikipedia-could-vanish-as-tighter-rules-prompt-50000-volunteers-to-quit-site.do
25.11.09
The usefulness of Wikipedia could be under threat after researchers found that thousands of contributors had deserted the internet encyclopaedia.
The English-language version of the site suffered a net loss of 49,000 volunteer “editors” in the first three months of this year, compared with 4,900 for the same period a year earlier, according to a university study.
This is believed to be a result of increased bureaucracy to prevent errors – such as the death of Edward Kennedy being announced prematurely – and the sense that Wikipedia is now part of the establishment.
Founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, it has become the fifth most popular website in the world with about 325million visits a month.
It allows registered users to modify entries but this leaves it open to abuse.
Felipe Ortega, of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, told The Times: “If you don’t have enough people to take care of the project it could vanish quickly. We’re not in that situation yet. But eventually, if the negative trends follow, we could be.
“The articles are very tightly controlled by others now, and that makes it hard to jump in and contribute.”

Another aid project failure

November 24, 2009

Many aid projects in Africa have failed to deliver to expectations partly because of their poor design, especially in the context of sustainability. The following article represents a clear example of some of those projects. It is taken from the guardian newspaper please:
Africa’s not-so-magic roundabout:
Millions of charity dollars are flowing into water pumps driven by children’s roundabouts, but is it money down the drain?
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o Andrew Chambers
o guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 24 November 2009 13.30 GMT
o Article history

As children play, the Playpump’s spinning motion pumps underground water into a raised tank. Photograph: FairWater/Public Domain
Playpumps International, which provides water pumps for African villages, sounds like a marketing dream. Children play on a merry-go-round, and as they do so water is pumped from the ground for storage in an elevated tank.
Smiling, playing children, solving Africa’s water problems. It is an appealing image and one that has attracted millions of dollars in American government aid, backing from the likes of the Co-op and high-profile celebrity endorsements. The only problem is it has also been criticised by one of the world’s leading water charities as being far too expensive, too complex for local maintenance, over-reliant on child labour and based on flawed water demand calculations. So, are we just buying into yet another feel-good marketing gimmick? And what does this say about the current state of the aid industry?
In 2006 the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) announced a $60m public-private partnership with Playpumps International, with $10m to directly come from the US government. As well as personal endorsements from both George and Laura Bush, the charity has the celebrity X-factor. Jay-Z raised $250,000 and DJ Mark Ronson pledged $1 per album sale to the charity. Large organisations have also been active in their support. The Co-op pledged that for every purchase of Fairbourne Springs mineral water, the company would make a charitable donation to go towards Playpumps. Millions of dollars are flowing, but is it just money down the drain?
In various press releases, interviews and on its website the charity has repeatedly referred to its ambition to build 4,000 Playpumps by 2010 to bring the “benefit of clean drinking water to up to 10 million people”. The concept is simple: a merry-go-round is connected to a bore-hole. As children play, the spinning motion pumps underground water into a raised tank.
However, the Sphere Project states that the recommended minimum daily water requirement is 15 litres per person which – based on the pump’s capabilities – would require children to be “playing” non-stop for 27 hours in every day to meet the 10 million figure. Under more reasonable assumptions, a Playpump could theoretically provide the bare minimum water requirements for about 200 people a day based on two hours’ constant “play” every day – considerably less than its claimed potential.
WaterAid, one of the world’s biggest water charities agrees. It recently issued a statement explaining why it does not support using Playpumps in its projects. It outlines concerns over the high costs ($14,000, excluding drilling), the complexity of the pumping mechanism (making local operation and maintenance difficult), the reliance on child labour and the risk of injury.
It also raises questions over the project’s viability – pointing out that children’s high spirits to drive the merry-go-round may not be available at times of water demand, ie in the early morning, early evening and during wet weather. It concludes that you could provide four conventional wells with hand pumps for the cost of just one Playpump, and that there are far cheaper and more sustainable ways of providing water without using Playpumps.
Paul van Beers of FairWater.org, a water NGO, describes his frustration at the “millions of US dollars wasted” on the scheme. The NGO offered to help Playpumps improve its Afri-pump technology, but didn’t receive any reply, he says. He points out that the planned revenue from advertising on the associated water tanks also largely failed to materialise because they were constructed in rural environments, and he concludes: “Their marketing is perfect, but the final idea does not work.”
This is just one example of problems in international water aid. One director of an African water charity speaking on condition of anonymity was scathing about how money was wasted. He described how corruption on the ground was rife, giving the example of how some international contractors paid more than $1,000 a day by water charities to drill boreholes had little concern for whether drilling was even appropriate, just as long as they kept themselves in a job. He concluded grimly: “If anyone ever told the truth, no one would give us anything.” And this is the catch-22 many good charities find themselves in. They can keep quiet and watch money wasted in massive quantities, or expose the waste and risk damaging charitable giving to the sector as a whole.
As a final thought, there are 375,000 handpumps in Africa, but more than 150,000 of these are abandoned due to poor maintenance or poor construction. The solution, therefore, isn’t so much about aid but the correct usage money. The aid industry has become ever more market driven, a trend accelerated by an increasing tendency for the private sector to profit on the back of charity giving. The great tragedy is that by being drawn to easily marketable gimmicks, more appropriate and sustainable projects are in ever greater danger of being neglected.

From water war to community management in Bolivia

November 24, 2009

This article illustrate how a social movement against water privatisation is turning into a movement for community control of water. http://www.alternet.org/water/140393/cochabamba:_from_war_to_water_management/

What problem does tourism cause?

November 23, 2009

“Tourism is big business. It is one of the world fatest growing industry and is expected to employ more people worldwide than any other industry”.

In the book Key Geography of David Waugh and Tony Bushell pointed: “Tourism has brought many benefits but it has also caused problems. Some of the worst problems occur in the countryside. People go there for peace and quiet, and to enjoy the views. Unfortunately they can spoil the very environmental that they were attracted to in the first place. Below are some of the problems caused by tourism in the countryside:

. “Narrow country roads are blocked by traffic.
. Attractive landscapes are spoilt by tourist buildings.
. Litter looks unsightly and is a danger to animals.
. Walls are knocked down by careless tourists.
. Gates are left open allowing anmals to get out.
. Popular locations are overcrowded and spoilt.
. Farming land is damaged.
. Farmers are unable to go about their business.
. Wildlife is frightened away.
.Trees and plants are damaged.”

What practices should be followed to tourism industry to harmonise it with Environment Sustainability?
Any comments are welcome…