The handbook, Assessing woodfuel supply and demand in displacement settings, prepared jointly by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and launched yesterday, offers new tools and methodologies that can be used to tackle issues such as access to fuel, environmental damage and conflicts with local communities. “Growing numbers of refugees and displaced people often puts pressure on forests due to rising demand for biomass fuel,” said FAO in a news release. “Left unmanaged, this increased competition for natural resources can lead to conflicts with local populations,” the agency added. According to UNHCR, at the end of 2015, over 65 million people worldwide were displaced and many were living in refugee camps or improvised settlements. Cooking fuel therefore has become one of the most critical resources as both the displaced and the communities that host them depend on it for their food security and nutritional needs. Lack of this resource manifests in different kinds of problems: people spending their wages or selling off food rations to buy fuel; undercooking or skipping meals; and respiratory illness due use of open flames or inefficient cooking techniques. Refugee women, in particular, face a risk of violence and fear for their safety when collecting fuelwood. Additionally, overexploitation of forest resources for fuel purposes can lead to forest degradation or deforestation in areas surrounding the camps, further compounding the problem. The handbook contains a methodology that humanitarian workers and camp managers can use to tackle such issues. The agency added that the approach will help mitigate the impact of displaced people on forest resources. It outlines a step by step process that includes assessment of energy needs, analysis of local fuelwood sources, and use of geographic information system and remote sensing data to map the distribution and changes over time of woody biomass resources. The methodology relies on field inventory data and high-resolution satellite images as well as relevant technical and socio-economic data, permitting an in-depth assessment of woodfuel supply and demand dynamics.Field tested methodology One of the places this methodology was field-tested was the Shimelba camp in Ethiopia. Established in 2004, the camp now hosts 6,000 people with very limited access to natural resources. Due to the scarce availability of fuelwood, residents had to walk long distances, sometimes up to nine hours, to gather fuelwood. The local population was reportedly unhappy, and refugee women, in particular, expressed concern for their safety during wood collection. According to the authors of the handbook, the information collected through the application of the methodology enabled camp managers and other field-based actors to take better informed decisions. The collected data can be used to monitor fuel consumption and evaluate trends, support decisions to boost afforestation and reforestation activities or to introduce changes to how fuel is sourced or used – for example with the introduction of alternative fuel and more efficient cooking technologies. The handbook also notes that fuelwood can be supplied through a variety of tree and forest systems, such as mixed forest plantations, or through integrated food energy systems that produce both food and energy, such as agro-forestry or multiple cropping systems.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Ugo Giguere, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 16, 2019 8:26 am PDT Comedian rejected for shows after dreadlocks deemed ‘cultural appropriation’ MONTREAL — An aspiring Montreal comedian has been told he cannot take part in shows at a university bar because his dreadlocks are a form of cultural appropriation.The Coop les Recoltes, a bar and solidarity co-operative at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, confirmed on Facebook its decision to exclude Zach Poitras, who is white, because of his hairstyle. Poitras, denied a spot at the Snowflake Comedy Club and another evening of “engaged humour,” declined comment on the situation.The bar is operated by the UQAM branch of the Public Interest Research Group, which focuses on environmental and social issues. In its Facebook statement, the co-operative says its mission is to be “a safe space, free of relationships of oppression.” It describes cultural appropriation as a form of violence.“We will not tolerate any discrimination or harassment within our spaces,” it says. It defines cultural appropriation as when “someone from a dominant culture appropriates symbols, clothing or hairstyles that come from historically dominated cultures.”It adds that wearing dreadlocks is “a privilege” for a white person, whereas a black person with the same hair “is going to find himself refused access to job opportunities or spaces (apartments, schools, parties, sports competitions, etc.)”Even if the person wearing dreadlocks is not racist himself, the group adds, the chosen hairstyle “conveys racism.” It calls cultural appropriation “a form of passive oppression, a privilege to be deconstructed and in particular a manifestation of ordinary racism.”Last summer, American actor Zac Efron was accused of cultural appropriation after posting a photo of himself with dreadlocks on social media along with the caption, “just for fun.” Canadian singer Justin Bieber faced similar criticism in 2016 when he posted photos of himself with dreadlocked blond hair.Greg Robinson, a UQAM professor specializing in black history, compared the wearing of dreadlocks by whites to the widely denounced practice of actors wearing blackface to portray characters of colour.“What I mean is that it is whites who dress up as blacks to make fun of them,” he said, adding that even when the intention is not mockery but embracing another culture, one has to be careful.“It’s like the N-word,” Robinson said. “Blacks can use it among themselves, but if someone from outside uses it, even if he wants to be like blacks, among blacks, there is still an aspect that remains rooted in history.”The Coop les Recoltes did not respond to an interview request.Ugo Giguere, The Canadian Press
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National Families in Action 25 March 2020Family First Comment: Last week’s issue of The Lancet Psychiatry published a meta-analysis of 15 studies that demonstrate a single dose of THC induces positive (including delusions and hallucinations), negative (such as blunted affect and amotivation), and general (including depression and anxiety) psychiatric symptoms. “These findings highlight the acute risks of cannabis use, which are highly relevant as medical, societal, and political interest in cannabinoids continues to grow,” say the researchers.Last week’s issue of The Lancet Psychiatry published a meta-analysis of 15 studies that demonstrate a single dose of THC induces positive (including delusions and hallucinations), negative (such as blunted affect and amotivation), and general (including depression and anxiety) psychiatric symptoms.CBD does not induce such symptoms, nor does it moderate the effects of THC as is commonly believed.“These findings highlight the acute risks of cannabis use, which are highly relevant as medical, societal, and political interest in cannabinoids continues to grow,” say the researchers. The findings “highlight the potential risks associated with the use of cannabis and other cannabinoids that contain THC for recreational or therapeutic purposes.”This week’s issue contains a commentary which concludes, “There is sufficient evidence to warn people that using THC could increase their risk of developing psychiatric symptoms or even a psychotic illness.”Read “Psychiatric symptoms caused by cannabis constituents: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” (full text) in The Lancet Psychiatry here.Read “THC – Harmful even at low doses?” in this week’s issue here.