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Up until Recently I had never even heard of Environmental Criminology? As a matter of fact I first heard the term on an article on Livescience titled: "Wildlife Bandits: How Criminology Can Fight Poaching" by Douglas Main (I'll attach the article for those not familiar with the topic) . AS a matter of fact I wondered if anyone has actually used any of the criminological theories or made new ones regarding what makes man commit crimes against Nature and/or wildlife? We shun acts of violence against one another; but not crimes against our environment. In fact I hipothesise that most people on their day to day lives actually commit enviromental crimes, yet there not aware of it.
Does anyone know of any research or papers on the subject? or any leading and/or current researchers on the topic? Another thing is what separates them from environmental activists?
« Coming to Life: Biotechnology in Africa
Weathering the Storm
September 15th, 2009
By Calestous Juma
Sub-Saharan African countries have in recent years been recording considerable economic progress. They are projected to grow by 3.7 percent in 2010 compared with 1.3 percent for industrialized countries and 2.5 percent for developing countries, excluding India and China. But climate change threats to ruin their hope for further prosperity.
According to the World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change, released today (September 15, 2009), a two-degree Celsius warming above pre-industrial levels could permanently reduce Africa’s annual per capita consumption by 4–5 percent.
Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions have been modest because of its low levels of industrial output. Yet they are like likely to suffer disproportionately from climate change. The report calls on industrialized countries to lead the way and help developing countries chart low-carbon economic paths.
Nearly two thirds of Africa is either dry land or desert. Water stress is already being felt. Today 20 African countries experience severe water scarcity and another 12 will be added in the next 25 years. Lake Chad (shared by Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger), for example, has lost shrunk by 80 percent over the last three decades.
Africa’s projected increase in rainfall variability will worsen its current food crises. Production of crops such as wheat is also projected to decline. These impacts are emerging at a time when much of Africa has lost its traditional crops. It is equally difficult to breed crops for a rapidly-changing climate.
A two-degree Celsius increase in temperate could wipe out up to 15 percent of Africa’s species, destroying the very biological resources needed to adapt to climate change. This would also affect non-agricultural sectors such as tourism that are dependent on the diversity of wildlife.
Climate change will also have direct impacts on human health by altering the patters of the spread of infectious diseases. It is now estimated that nearly 900 million people in Africa will be exposed to malaria by 2030 due to climate change.
But behind this seemingly dismal outlook lies a unique opportunity for Africa to lead the way in adopting low-carbon growth strategies. They are not too heavily committed to high-carbon economies like their industrial counterparts. They therefore need to complete their demand for historical justice with the design of climate-smart policies.
They can build climate-smart economies that take advantage of the vast amounts scientific and technological knowledge that is currently available. It is estimated that growth in such knowledge is doubling every 14 months.
Building climate-smart economies will involve taking deliberate steps in at least four key areas: infrastructure; technical education; business development; and international diplomacy.
Climate-smart infrastructure is essential for adapting to climate change. The continent can lead the way in investing in renewable energy. Eastern Africa, for example, can generate over 2,500 Megawatts (MW) of electricity from geothermal energy using existing technologies, compared to the current world output of 8,100 MW.
Creating climate-smart infrastructure will require greater investment in higher technical training. They can build on current efforts to create telecommunications universities under line ministries as has been done in Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya. Ministries of agriculture, environment, water, energy, and transportation could play key roles in training local experts to climate-smart infrastructure.
Advances in new fields such as nanotechnology are offering new products that could help reduce the ecological impact of human activity. For example, Thai technologists have developed new fabrics that repel water and the associated dirt. Such fabrics require less frequent washing and only detergent industries seem to be afraid of them.
None of this will be achieved unless Africa can effectively harness the world’s available scientific and technical knowledge and put it to practical use. Africa’s higher education enrolment stands at about 5 percent, compared with nearly 50 percent in the industrialized countries. The challenge is not simply to increase access to university education, but to ensure that institutions of higher learning can serve as engines of sustainable development, especially in their localities.
Finally, advancing climate-smart growth strategies will demand new diplomatic leadership. African ministries of foreign affairs will need to strengthen their capacity to engage in science and technology diplomacy. The choice, location, and staffing of their missions will need to reflect the urgency to identify and negotiate more technology-based agreements with other countries.
African will need to respond regionally through a broad range of measures aimed at sustaining human health, agriculture, energy, water supply, tourism, and many other vital sectors. Most of Africa’s states lack the flexibility to respond to major ecological upheavals. They need room to manoeuvre and can achieve it by integrating their economies into regional groupings.
A look into the future of climate change reveals disruptions that will take on wartime proportions. Responses must therefore match the challenges. Leaders who do not take climate change seriously will be punished by ecologically-enlightened followers. The best way to avert political turmoil is to act in time and treat the situation as a state of emergency. That means now.
Calestous Juma teaches at Harvard Kennedy School and was a major contributor to the World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change
This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 at 3:37 pm and is filed under Analysis. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
jimmy samson Says:
September 18th, 2009 at 4:04 pm
hi Prof.Calestous,am really delighted by your discussion on agriculture innovation in our current habitat.Truly speaking,climate change is a matter pf great concern in our society,this occurs due to the green house effects,gas emmissions etc and this will have a significant impact in food production in our continent-Africa,truly as you said that the best way to avoid political turmoil is to act in time and treat the situation as a state of emergency,yes the time is now! c/o JIMMY SAMSON CHELIMO,NAIROBI-KENYA-KCA-UNIVERSITY.
Osei Bonsu Dickson Says:
September 19th, 2009 at 10:13 am
Hello Prof. Juma, this is both insightful and excellent. It clearly suggests that our (Africa’s) current national security models must begin to actively reflect a “green-threat” and anticipate solutions, if a major future crisis is to be countered. Thanks !
O.B. Dickson LL.B (Hons), ECNIS (Harvard)
Barrister at Law
Innovatori Europei Says:
September 20th, 2009 at 8:46 am
Thanks for sharing these precious infos from World Development Report 2010 with us.
While what you say is 100% true, as Innovatori Europei, we also think that Italy (and Europe) should play a strong role in enhancing a strong Euro – Mediterraneum policy with African countries to build up a “common” Sustainable Development future based on Green Energy.
We also think that U.S. should help Europe in this crucial “activity”.
Michael Ochieng Odhiambo Says:
September 21st, 2009 at 7:41 am
Prof. Juma is as usual spot on. There is a close and symbiotic relationship between sustainable agriculture and natural resource management on the one hand and sustainable economic development on the other hand for countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change introduces imperatives and challenges that are bound to have serious implications for this relationship. The capacity of African countries to surmount the challenges of climate change and sustain the promising economic growth levels of recent years will be determined in large measure by the extent to which they invest in developing the policy, legal and institutional mechanisms that make it possible to harness climate change related opportunities at local, regional and global levels.
The issues identified by Prof. Juma are important building blocks for such mechanisms. It is difficult to understand, for instance, why African countries are slow in establishing ministries for climate change. In many countries, discussions about climate change remain unfocused and without political leadership for this very reason. As a result, the limited resources available for addressing climate change challenges are scattered across different ministries and departments with each doing their own thing. No wonder, concrete progress on this important issue remains minimal across the continent
Sidney Clouston Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
September 30th, 2009 at 8:59 pm
Dear Prof. Juma, Fellows and Friends:
Sustainable Development is required in every place. It must replace old developments and models. We are being told by the wealthy establishment that certain energy resources are best and least cost like coal. For many years many people and groups have said that there are other costs. Nobody has paid the true cost from enviromental impacts.The Rural Development that is needed must have Sustainable Development as
a framework. The inclusion of the Millennium Development Goals is beyond just the mitigation of greenhouse gas. We must be creative in the sustainable development methods that we implement. There ought to be a return on investment if possible so
rapidly copies of that model activity will result. Our group has planned for Biomass with
Bioenergy to include waste feedstock and Biofuel as a needed product for income. I am
intending to be the Champion of the Poor. They will be contracted, helped if needed with
microfinance and technical continued education. Vocational training for Youth and jobs
filled. The Transportation Fuel is depleted and increase in demand expected so to have
a stable price we need Biofuels. We need to use rural areas and develop communities
that are productive.