Food and the G20; tackling soot; Mauritius' miracle; GM bananas; healthcare in Ghana; women's voices; Fate of the World as a computer game: links I liked

food and the G20 The Economist reckons other ways of attacking climate change, by tackling soot or non-CO2 greenhouse gasses, may be easier (though not an alternative) to the stalled Kyoto talks What could America and Europe learn from the Mauritius Miracle? asks Joe Stiglitz Time to light the blue touch paper and retire – does Uganda need GM bananas?: ‘In recent years a devastating bacterial disease has swept across Uganda, wiping out the crucial banana crop (Ugandans eat a lot of them). For smaller farmers the damage has been so severe many have given up on the fruit. But local scientists have not. On a sprawling campus outside Kampala, Wilberforce Tushemereirwe and his colleagues at the National Banana Research Programme have been on a quest to defeat the disease by building a better banana. This has involved adding to the fruit a sweet pepper gene that has already improved disease resistance in several vegetables. Laboratory tests on the genetically modified bananas have been highly promising, with six out of eight strains proving 100% resistant.’  The World Bank is pushing Ghana as a health insurance success story, arguing that even in low income countries, governments can avoid the cost of providing free health care by introducing insurance instead. Ain’t so, according to a new report by a coalition of local NGOs, supported by Oxfam. The Bank and other boosters say the scheme covers 67% of Ghanaians. The report looks at the figures and estimates that coverage could in fact be as low as 18%. And the better off are disproportionately benefiting from the schem even though it is 70% funded by VAT –  not a progressive tax. I’m at a loss to know what to link to from the avalanche of gender-related content around International Women’s Day. The Guardian had some great ‘women’s voices’, and I also liked this BBC piece on Lesotho, ranked eighth in the world when it comes to bridging the gap between the sexes. [h/t Caroline Sweetman] In 2011 Oxfam will launch a new section of its website with a remit to share Oxfam’s policy, practice and research with development practitioners, researchers, and policy formers worldwide. That’s you, that is, so any chance you could complete a short survey to help us get it right? 10 minutes, tops. If possible please share this survey with your wider colleagues and networks. The closing date is 25th March. The survey is here So say all our campaigns, advocacy, research etc get nowhere and the world drifts towards irreversible climate change. What to do? Well, at least future world leaders have a computer game they can practice on. Check out Fate of the World [h/t Gonzalo Fanjul] ]]>

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3 Responses to “Food and the G20; tackling soot; Mauritius' miracle; GM bananas; healthcare in Ghana; women's voices; Fate of the World as a computer game: links I liked”
  1. Jay

    Duncan – see that there is a pretty full set of replies, and counter replies, including today from Kevin Watkins, on the CGD page…it still has the rather uncomplementary (and it seems totally undeserved) title on it though (“Really Oxfam? Really?”) – we´ll see if Amanda replies to these latest challenges.