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Locusts Invade Madagascar's Capital City

Twitter and Facebook users from Madagascar's capital city, Antananarivo, have posted several photos of locusts invading the city. Locust invasions are not unusual in Madagascar, especially after tropical storms, but they are very uncommon in larger cities. Locusts can have a devastating effect on crops, especially in a country that has struggled with bouts of famine in past years.

Investment Deal with China Leaves Jamaicans With More Questions Than Answers

I AM SO FLABBERGASTED: WHO gives a FOREIGN government the RIGHT to CHOOSE WHICH LAND IT WANTS?

As part of an investment exchange, the Jamaican government has agreed to give 1,200 acres of land to the Chinese government – wherever it wants. Cucumber Juice has critical questions that she feels the government must answer: What is the value of the land? How will it be used? What if it's already occupied? She concludes that “Jamaica is for sale, is being sold, and is not at all as independent as its citizens and residents like to think.”

“Very Difficult to Care about Madagascar”

Thomas Friedman recently traveled to Madagascar and posits that Americans need to pay more attention to the economic and ecological disaster that threatens the island. Some of his readers did not quite agree, like Deosinon in Philadelphia, who argues that Madagascar is too far removed from his needs :

I apologize, but it is very difficult to care about Madagascar. What really concerns me is the valuable space given to this issue by the Times. We are here and need a paper that helps us [..] Today's paper talks of The Met and Madagascar. Please use your space and your writers considerable pool of intellect to speak to us here, and help us with our lives, and tell us things that will improve life here. Maybe I'll read more, I know I'll be happier.

To which Robert counters :

I see your point; after all, this is only a 226-thousand square mile island with over 22 million people living on it, the 47th-largest country in the world, with any number of absolutely-unique species living on it and on its way to becoming Haiti. [..] Beyond the moral considerations, the fact is that we're part of the world and can't wall ourselves off, whether we like it or not. As they say, you can manage the issues or the issues will most assuredly manage you.

In somewhat related news, a few citizens in Madagascar also are in favor of less attention from the West, especially the IMF.

Third Festival in Santa Catarina, Tláhuac, Mexico

festival

More and more people are sharing their content on Medium, and Ximena Arrieta, consultant in Strategic Communications, is using her content as an additional medium and coverage for the connection between communication, citizen participation and technology, as does the “Movement for the Earth” in Santa Catarina Yecahuízotl, that with its “Festival for the Sierra”, held on July 12, aimed to promote and build connections of coexistence and social cohesion within its community:

El objetivo del Festival es construir un espacio de colaboración, expresión y sobre todo, reflexión de las problemáticas que afectan a la Sierra de Santa Catarina, espacio natural y reserva ecológica del Distrito Federal, constantemente amenazada por proyectos mineros, inmobiliarios, contaminación y sobreexplotación.

Está dirigido a la población infantil y joven de la comunidad, sin embargo, también es un mensaje concientizado para el público adulto.

The aim of the Festival is to build a space for collaboration, expression and, above all, reflection on the issues that affect Santa Catarina highlands, a natural space and ecologic reserve of Mexico City, constantly threatened by mining, real estate projects, pollution and overexploitation.

This is meant for the children and youth of the comuunity, but it's also an awareness message for the adult audience.

You can read Arrieta on her blog in Spanish on Tumblr, Punto Crucial or by following her account on Twitter: @borjaxime

This post was part of the tenth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 7, 2014.

Cuban Architect Mario Coyula Remembered

Bloggers mourn the passing of prominent Cuban architect Mario Coyula, who died at 79 from cancer.

12 Deaths and 27,000 Displaced Nigeriens Because of Floods

Flooding in Niamey in Niger - Public Domain

Flooding in Niamey in Niger – Public Domain

Heavy rains and flooding in Niger have killed 12 people and left thousands without homes. Rivers in Niamey and the extended regions have risen and destroyed thousands of houses. In the region, land degradation and cultivation of marginal land increase the risk that extreme events can develop into natural disasters. Some solutions for flood preparedness were being implemented by national authorities :

ANADIA Niger aims to develop methodologies and tools to assess flood risk, to support planning at different decision making levels, to increase the resilience of local communities and to develop a greater capacity for forecasting and response. In this context, the development of a floods database will contribute to a more effective decision-making. 

 

Video Contest: Inspiring Stories of Protected Areas

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Contest banner

The International Unión for Nature Conservation (IUCN, for its name in Spanish) on its official page on Facebook, makes a call for communites and populations that live in protected areas in South America to submit their videos to take part in the contest “Inspiring stories of protected areas”, aiming to share those stories to the whole planet. Those who want to take part can submit up to two self-produced four-minute videos with copyright.

The awarded videos will be exposed during the IUCN International Congress of Parks.

To participate, just fill the application form with your information before August 14. You can also participate by choosing among the videos already uploaded to participate.

For more detais, visit the site on Facebook

Improper Land Allocation Harms Trinidad & Tobago's Public Interest

Property ownership is a critical ingredient of the society we are trying to build. No one can deny that. The wealthiest people and companies in this society have made a great part of their wealth through property dealings – buying, leasing, sub-dividing, selling, renovating and so on….property is critical to amassing and holding wealth.

With the state being “the single largest owner of all classes of property” in Trinidad and Tobago, blogger Afra Raymond is interested in how public property is allocated, noting that because of its value, all dealings involving state lands must be transparent.

Recycling Fashion

cordel

Thread made up of used T-shirts, one of many usar for old clothes. Image by lomurella on flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

This week, Rut Abraín from Esturirafi shares some wonderful ideas that would help our economy and reduce space in our closets, even help people in need, and the planet, by recycling our used clothes:

Durante años, he ido acumulando ropa que no usaba. La iba dejando en el montón de “ropa que no uso” y al final la acababa regalando o dejando en el fondo de un armario. Cuando fui a revisarla, me di cuenta que muchas de esas prendas estaban perfectamente y que sólo les había cogido manía, otras no me servían  y algunas estaban rotas o manchadas.

For years, I've been storing clothes I didn't use anymore. It accumulated on the pile of “clothes I don't use” that I ended up giving away or leaving at the bottom of the closet. When I checked it, I realized that many of them where in perfect shape and I just didn't like it, other were no more useful amd some had stains or holes.

According to her, the most effective ways of making the most out of it are: put it on containers for the needy, donate it or give it to a friend or relative that may want it, or remake it or use the fabric to make new things as bags or tableclothes.

To read more about conservation of the environment, you can follow Rut on her blog Esturirafi and Twitter.

This post was part of the tenth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 7, 2014.

Packaging and Ecosystem

ecodesign-packaging

Image from blog Esturirafi, used with permission.

Are you someone who cares about the packaging of the products you buy and use? Biologist Rut Abrain Sánchez does, and on her blog Esturirafi she shows six examples of ecological packaging of some products in Asia, Europe and North America. To understand the scope of this issue, Abrain quotes the definition of ecodesign:

El Ecodiseño, también conocido como Diseño para el Medio Ambiente, es una metodología que considera el medio ambiente como un criterio más a la hora de tomar decisiones en el proceso de diseño de productos industriales, adicionalmente a otros tradicionalmente se han tenido en cuenta (costes, calidad, …).

Ecodesign, also known as Design for Environment, is a method that considers environment as another guideline when making decisions in the process of designing industrial products, besides other traditionally taken into account (cost, quality…).

This means ecodesign considers the reduction of material, using biodegradable material and the reduction of emissions into the atmosphere.

To get updates about this, visit Rut Abrain Sánchez's website or follow her on Twitter at @esturirafi.

This post was part of the seventh #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on June 16, 2014.

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