1. The Leadership Crisis and Conflict Relapse in South Sudan
  2. Kenya Election 2017: The Perspectives from Mombasa
  3. What does it take to be a Member of Parliament in Kenya: Perspectives from Hon. Timothy Wanyonyi
  4. Talking Africa Interview with Prof Abdoulaye Bathily
  5. Book Launch: Theory of ISIS Political Violence and the Transformation of the Global Order
  6. First black woman professor at King’s College delivers inaugural lecture by Desmond Davies, GNA
  7. The Transformational Leadership of Late Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai
  8. Leadership and “Conversation” in Dialogue: Securing Peace in the Unromantic Contex
  9. New study analyses knowledge production on peace and security in Africa
  10. The Role of Mutuality in Leadership
  11. Gendered Differences in Leadership Styles
  12. The Contributions of Youth-led organizations to peace processes in Somalia
  13. Transitional Justice Mechanisms in Gambia
  14. Liberation Movements in Power: are they an obstacle to political transitions in Africa?
  15. Extractive Industry in Nigeria and the role of Leadership in natural resource governance
  16. Role of Research in Informing Government Policies
  17. Politics of evidence and policy-making in African states
  18. Corruption, Elections and Leadership Transition in Liberia
  19. Mark Simpson on Black History Studies and African Civilisations
  20. Role and influence of the military in Zimbabwe
  21. Role and influence of foreign actors in recent events in Zimbabwe
  22. Indifferent? Response of African Union on recent events in Zimbabwe
  23. Did governance of natural resources influence recent events in Zimbabwe?
  24. Special Magazine Edition on Kenya Elections
  25. Discussion on Supreme Court nullification of Presidential Elections Results in Kenya
  26. Kenyans ready to make their choice
  27. Kenya Election 2017 Perspectives from Kirinyaga County
  28. Hassan Abdille on Youth Vulnerability and Radicalization in Mombasa County
  29. Sureya Roble on Women and Radicalization in Mombasa County
  30. Jennifer Salahub on Safe and Inclusive Cities in Africa and the Developing World
  31. Setback for South Africa’s ICC withdrawal plan
  32. No winner of 2016 African Leadership Prize
  33. Pay bad African leaders to leave power – Obasanjo
  34. Obasanjo’s antidote to military coups in Nigeria
  35. Renewable energy companies accused of violating people’s rights
  36. Caroline Moser on Gender transformation in cities
  37. Mutuma Ruteere on Security, Violence and Racism
  38. Setback for South Africa’s ICC withdrawal plan
  39. The Gambia withdraws notice to leave the ICC
  40. Protests, Migration and Far-right Movements: African and European Insecurities?
  41. Kenya’s candidate for AUC Chairperson focuses on continent’s youth
  42. How has Obama’s Power Africa legacy fared? – Desmond Davies
  43. Conversations, Contestations and Coincidences: Brexit, Trumphalism and African dynamics
  44. Overly Optimistic? The Pulse on Africa’s Changing Economies and Demography
  45. Lecture on Peacebuilding, Leadership and Democratic Consolidation in Africa
  46. Situation of victims in systems of practice for dealing with gross human rights abuses
Thu, Nov 15, 2018
  1. The Leadership Crisis and Conflict Relapse in South Sudan
  2. Kenya Election 2017: The Perspectives from Mombasa
  3. What does it take to be a Member of Parliament in Kenya: Perspectives from Hon. Timothy Wanyonyi
  4. Talking Africa Interview with Prof Abdoulaye Bathily
  5. Book Launch: Theory of ISIS Political Violence and the Transformation of the Global Order
  6. First black woman professor at King’s College delivers inaugural lecture by Desmond Davies, GNA
  7. The Transformational Leadership of Late Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai
  8. Leadership and “Conversation” in Dialogue: Securing Peace in the Unromantic Contex
  9. New study analyses knowledge production on peace and security in Africa
  10. The Role of Mutuality in Leadership
  11. Gendered Differences in Leadership Styles
  12. The Contributions of Youth-led organizations to peace processes in Somalia
  13. Transitional Justice Mechanisms in Gambia
  14. Liberation Movements in Power: are they an obstacle to political transitions in Africa?
  15. Extractive Industry in Nigeria and the role of Leadership in natural resource governance
  16. Role of Research in Informing Government Policies
  17. Politics of evidence and policy-making in African states
  18. Corruption, Elections and Leadership Transition in Liberia
  19. Mark Simpson on Black History Studies and African Civilisations
  20. Role and influence of the military in Zimbabwe
  21. Role and influence of foreign actors in recent events in Zimbabwe
  22. Indifferent? Response of African Union on recent events in Zimbabwe
  23. Did governance of natural resources influence recent events in Zimbabwe?
  24. Special Magazine Edition on Kenya Elections
  25. Discussion on Supreme Court nullification of Presidential Elections Results in Kenya
  26. Kenyans ready to make their choice
  27. Kenya Election 2017 Perspectives from Kirinyaga County
  28. Hassan Abdille on Youth Vulnerability and Radicalization in Mombasa County
  29. Sureya Roble on Women and Radicalization in Mombasa County
  30. Jennifer Salahub on Safe and Inclusive Cities in Africa and the Developing World
  31. Setback for South Africa’s ICC withdrawal plan
  32. No winner of 2016 African Leadership Prize
  33. Pay bad African leaders to leave power – Obasanjo
  34. Obasanjo’s antidote to military coups in Nigeria
  35. Renewable energy companies accused of violating people’s rights
  36. Caroline Moser on Gender transformation in cities
  37. Mutuma Ruteere on Security, Violence and Racism
  38. Setback for South Africa’s ICC withdrawal plan
  39. The Gambia withdraws notice to leave the ICC
  40. Protests, Migration and Far-right Movements: African and European Insecurities?
  41. Kenya’s candidate for AUC Chairperson focuses on continent’s youth
  42. How has Obama’s Power Africa legacy fared? – Desmond Davies
  43. Conversations, Contestations and Coincidences: Brexit, Trumphalism and African dynamics
  44. Overly Optimistic? The Pulse on Africa’s Changing Economies and Demography
  45. Lecture on Peacebuilding, Leadership and Democratic Consolidation in Africa
  46. Situation of victims in systems of practice for dealing with gross human rights abuses

COMPANIES that are engaged in renewable energy projects in developing countries have been accused of violating human and land rights. Mary Robinson, a former UN Human Rights Commissioner, speaking at the Commonwealth’s Regenerative Development to Reverse Climate Change (RDRCC) conference in London recently, warned: “It’s important to remain cognisant that not all action that is good for the planet is automatically good for people and I really want to emphasise that point because I didn’t appreciate it until relatively recently.

“We require a just transition for human rights to inform all climate actions. Recent experience shows that renewal and energy installations can result in human rights being undermined if local communities are not consulted.”

Last November, the UK-based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, of which Mrs Robinson has strong connections, said it had received 115 allegations of human rights abuse regarding renewable companies since 2005 – 94 of these having taken place since 2010.

“Our analysis of company responses revealed that 34 out of 50 companies have some commitment to consult with local communities. However these commitments vary significantly and the majority are weak or non-existent,” the Centre said.

“Only five out of 50 refer to respecting indigenous peoples’ internationally recognised right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). Failing to undertake these consultations in a rigorous manner can cause project delays as well as financial, legal and reputational costs to companies.”

Since the Paris Agreement on climate change came into effect last year and the advent of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the number of new renewable energy installations has overtaken the number of new fossil fuel installations globally for the first time, according to the Centre. “Despite the increasing investment [in renewables] we’ve been seeing, we didn’t see a real conversation around the human rights impacts that these companies are having,” said Eniko Horvath, a senior researcher at the Centre.

For instance, the World Bank has admitted that its 2010 geothermal energy project in Kenya, which it financed in conjunction with the European Investment Bank, failed to communicate in the local language with the Masai community in the Rift Valley. The Bank also conceded that the people were not adequately compensated for the loss of their land and livelihood.

Addressing the RDRCC conference, Mrs Robinson, a former President of Ireland, said clean energy projects were being undertaken the wrong way by big companies. “They’re doing it through big projects and they’re doing it without consultation. They’re taking away land rights from local communities [and] they’re not respecting the indigenous people’s right to informed consent, and so on,” she added.

“This is a problem we will face and we can only avoid that problem by having safeguards, by ensuring that human rights and gender issues are to the front and centre of activity. And that land rights, labour rights, indigenous rights can all be undermined in the absence of checks and balances on renewable energy projects.”

Mrs Robinson went on: “On the other hand, engaging people in climate decision making creates more buy-in and support for a plan of action, and governments can’t achieve the SDGs or implement the Paris Agreement goals without the actions of their citizens or the support of civil society. At times of change and anxiety, such as people around the world are experiencing now, there’s a risk that people and states will withdraw and attempt to go it alone.

“But these are precisely the time that countries should come together and forge new friendships and relationships, and I believe the Commonwealth has a very significant role in forging those friendships and relationships.”

Since Patricia Scotland took over as Secretary General of the Commonwealth last year, she has pushed for a revolutionary approach to dealing with climate change. The RDRCC approach, in collaboration with the Cloudburst Foundation, does not focus on the doom and gloom of the global debate on climate change, but instead places emphasis on potentials to reverse this.

Some of the world’s leading environmental experts who met at the recent Commonwealth conference looked at how they could take forward an innovative strategy to reverse the human impact of climate change. They are hoping their new approach will influence the debate among world leaders when they meet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23), chaired by Fiji in Bonn, Germany this November.

In October last year, the Commonwealth convened a meeting of more than 60 scientists, ecologists, activists, academics and funders who explored cutting-edge approaches to reducing carbon emissions and addressed global warming to boost development and economic growth.

“A pronounced increase in violent storms, floods, drought, desertification and devastating sea level rises – extreme events such as these are the realities that many people across the Commonwealth wake up to every day. This is why, from the moment I took office, I have been working hard to address climate change,” Secretary-General Scotland noted.

“It is truly a historic moment for the Commonwealth as the first intergovernmental organisation to take on the bold challenge of flipping the narrative on climate change. What we are saying is that climate change is not only our biggest challenge; it is also our biggest opportunity. Regenerative development offers ways of tackling climate change on a scale and by means that can be adopted by the most vulnerable countries, and are appropriate to the day-to-day lives and livelihoods of their inhabitants,” she added.

It is expected that the Commonwealth will have a programme on regenerative development in place by April 2018, when the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting takes place in London.

The Commonwealth represents nearly a third of the world’s population and one-fifth of the Earth’s landmass. Consequently, its actions are highly influential because its population lives in every region of the planet and contains a rich diversity of cultures, economies, and ecosystems, climate change experts point out.

Desmond Davies

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