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Twelve years after the European Union launched a plan to tackle illegal logging, independent evaluators are assessing progress and shortcomings. Their findings could contribute to the definition of any future EU forest policy.
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 13 October 2014
Wherever you are in the world, beekeeping is a guaranteed source of income. The international market varies but in developing countries honey production remains a vital means of subsistence. It supports the environment too, but plummeting bee numbers now jeopardise food chains in developing and developed countries alike, and experts are scrambling to coordinate a response.  
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 10 December 2013
There is much discussion in the development arena about the struggle ahead to feed the seven plus billion, of the methods proposed towards food security, building resilience, safeguarding water resources and so on. But few stop to ponder the basic ingredient in all of this: the very land under our feet, and the starting point of all agricultural productivity. At the European Development Days, EuropeAid hosted a Lab session dedicated to the relevance of soils in development policy, featuring the release earlier this year of the first Soil Atlas of Africa.
As the crucial role of bees as pollinators of the world’s food supply is increasingly becoming common knowledge, reports about the serious decline of honeybee populations in Europe and the USA have alarmed governments, the private sector and the general public. A similar decline in Africa and Asia has the potential to further threaten the world’s biodiversity, in addition to compromising the food security and livelihoods of millions of rural resource-poor farmers, as well as having negative impacts on the agricultural income of commercial farmers.
“The future of food security on the current trajectory is a road to nowhere, and to repeat the statistics that we need to grow 50-70% more food without answering the questions, on what land, with which water and with what kind of seed diversity, is a discussion that merits much greater attention,” said Achim Steiner, the United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director recently in Brussels.  
The Irish Presidency of the European Union is well underway, with an ambitious development programme and a notable focus on hunger, nutrition and resilience. Gay Mitchell MEP, and Ireland’s Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, gathered development stakeholders together last month to celebrate a remarkable agricultural coalition combating hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa – an Ethiopia-based food security project, centered on the potato.
Climate change is a devastating reality in Tanzania where higher temperatures are resulting in regular droughts and the rapid melting of the snowy peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. Difficult lives are getting even tougher, so the European Union Delegation to Tanzania has come up with an innovative eco-village.
Per capita electricity consumption in Africa is well below the average for residents of the European Union but that doesn’t mean that the continent is short of sustainable power-generating potential, according to a report published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.
Thanks to a clever use of existing procedures, the European Union Delegation to Burkina Faso working in partnership with the government, successfully managed a seamless transition from an emergency intervention by the Commission’s humanitarian body, ECHO, to offering long-term support to more than 100,000 flood victims.
To date, the agricultural sector, as a net green house gas producer, has largely been seen as part of the climate change problem. But Dr Alex De Pinto of the International Food Policy Research Institute wants to see farmers become part of the climate change solution. Whether it’s through livestock rearing, rice production or the drying of peat, the world’s agricultural producers are widely accepted as being responsible for between 10 and 14 percent of the world’s total Green House Gas production and thus a contributor to climate change.

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