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Campaign group accuses Liberia palm oil firm of exploiting Ebola crisis

REUTERS by  Makini Brice                                 July 23, 2015

DAKAR --Anti-corruption campaign group Global Witness on Thursday accused palm oil company Golden Veroleum of taking advantage of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia to double the size of its plantation.

 The Ebola virus treatment center where four people are currently being treated is seen in Paynesville, Liberia, July 16, 2015. Reuters/James Giahyue

Golden Veroleum, controlled by Singapore-listed Golden Agri-Resources, signed a deal with Liberia in 2010 to develop a 220,000 hectare plantation. However, the company also has to reach agreement with local communities that have customary titles over the land.

The company denied any wrongdoing.

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Guinea's president on global aid push: 'Ebola forced us to change completely'

After the international community pledged $3.4bn for West Africa, Alpha Condé is cautiously optimistic and taking stock of lessons learned

Guinean president Alpha Conde speaks to UN members during an International Ebola Recovery Conference on 10 July. Photograph: EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images

THE GUARDIAN by Raya Jababi                        June 11, 2015
NEW YORK--More than a year after the charity Médecins Sans Frontières sounded the alarm on the Ebolaepidemic that would claim more than 11,000 lives, the international community on Friday pledged $3.4bn to help affected West African countries recover.

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Three Ways the World’s Power Mix Is About To Change

weather.com - June 26th, 2015 - Brian Kahn

Big changes are afoot for the energy sector in the next 25 years. Coal and gas are headed out, and solar and wind are rushing to take their place on a multi-trillion dollar investment bonanza, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The report scopes out the power generating landscape through 2040.

The main reason for the big shift in power generation isn’t likely to be because of a grand climate agreement, national policies or carbon pricing scheme, though. Instead, it comes down to cold, hard cash, with renewables offering more power-generating bang for the buck than fossil fuels. Here are the three big numbers.

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Liberia: Two-Hour School in Lofa County - Students in Class 8-10am

ALLAFRICA  by Mae Azango                                                                   June 10, 2015

Children in Gorlu, Salayea District Lofa County, are only in school two hours a day, or not in school at all. The reason? Their teachers are either running behind their salaries, or volunteer teachers are trying to get their names on the government's payroll.

Matthew Gahndolo, the school's principal laments, "The government of Liberia says, free and compulsory primary education, but what is the use when the children come to school by 8:00 a.m. and leave the class room after 10:00 a.m. to go on the farms, because their teachers are running behind salaries"

The situation of teachers leaving the classrooms and running behind salaries, and lack of qualified teachers to teach the children in rural Liberia, is not only restricted to Lofa County, but nearly all of the fifteen counties in Liberia. With the situation becoming increasingly alarming and dreadful, the government has also witnessed aggrieved health workers also on the streets demanding the Ebola risk benefits as well.

Read complete story.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201506100717.html

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Coal Crash: How Pension Funds Face Huge Risk From Climate Change

           

Coal is moved on a conveyor belt at the PT Bukit Asam open pit coal mine in Tanjung Enim, South Sumatra province, Indonesia. Photograph: Dadang Tri/Getty Images

Special report: The plummeting coal sector and a growing green divestment movement is leaving firms who still invest in fossil fuels and connected pension holders heavily exposed

theguardian.com - by Damian Carrington and Caelainn Barr - June 15, 2015

The pension funds of millions of people across the world, including teachers, public sector workers, health staff and academics in the UK and US, are heavily exposed to the plummeting coal sector, a Guardian analysis has revealed.

It has also found that just a dozen people, including the owner of Chelsea FC, Roman Abramovich, own coal reserves equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of China, the world’s biggest polluter. The UN, which advocates a shift to clean energy, has more than $100m (£65m) invested in coal through its own pension fund.

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As Ebola Crisis Wanes, a Mixed Picture of Economic Recovery for Households in Sierra Leone

THE WORLD BANK                                                                       June 15, 2015

WASHINGTON—Employment in Sierra Leone has returned to pre-crisis levels, though earnings and hours worked still lag behind. This is according to respondents in the latest round of high-frequency mobile-phone surveys, led by Statistics Sierra Leone with support from the World Bank Group, assessing how Ebola is impacting people’s livelihoods.

The survey contacted a sample of 1,715 households during May, 2015, which represents 41 percent of the 4,199 households covered in the baseline, nationally-representative Labor Force Survey conducted in July and August 2014.

 “Sierra Leone is working tirelessly to get to zero cases of Ebola,” said Francis Ato Brown, World Bank Group Country Manager for Sierra Leone. “Our job has to be not only to support the country in eradicating Ebola, but also to look toward economic recovery and toward mitigating the short-, medium-, and long-term impacts of the crisis on the social and economic wellbeing of all Sierra Leoneans.

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Managing the Risk and Impact of Future Epidemics: Options for Public-Private Cooperation

submitted by Denis Gilhooly

World Economic Forum
Prepared in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

CLICK HERE - Managing the Risk and Impact of Future Epidemics: Options for Public-Private Cooperation

CLICK HERE - REPORT - Managing the Risk and Impact of Future Epidemics: Options for Public-Private Cooperation
(20 page .PDF report)

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was a public health emergency of new proportions that presented unprecedented challenges for the international community. Aside from the significant social and economic impact it had on many West African countries, the epidemic also triggered a range of innovative, flexible partnership responses from businesses and civil society that complemented the channels of official assistance to affected countries.

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Ebola Response Reveals the Need for New Models for Collaboration Between the Private and Public Sectors

A Report by the World Economic Forum and BCG Analyzes the Private Sector's Response to the Ebola Outbreak and Distills Lessons for Public-Private Partnerships in Future Health Crises

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BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP -MARKETWIRED June 4, 2014

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA-- The private sector played an important role in the global response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa not only by providing financial and in-kind donations but also by acting as a partner to support response activities.

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Don't Fall Behind as More Climate Legislation Rules the World

           

London School of Economics

greenbiz.com - by Michael Mathres - June 4, 2015

CLICK HERE - REPORT - 2015 Global Climate legislation Study

A lot of times businesses look to or blame,  governments for a lack of a national strategic economical direction for tackling climate change. This often leads to climate inertia where each party looks to the other for leadership and action.

However, according to a new report from the London School of Economics, this is no longer the case, and business have plenty of climate laws and policies from which to be inspired or adapt.

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Scientists Release Ebola Sequencing Data to Global Research Community Online

BUSINESS WIRE                                                                       June 3, 2015
CARLSBAD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A team of scientists that is part of an international, multi-organizational effort to curb further spread of deadly Ebola in Sierra Leone has released their first dataset of the virus’ genetic structure online.

The genetic analysis is now on virological.organd available for the global scientific community to monitor the pathogen’s evolution in real-time and conduct research that can lead to more effective strategies against further outbreaks.

The team of British scientists, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is using semi-conductor next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to generate data in a lab facilitated by Public Health England and International Medical Corps.

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