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Who Did This To Peru's Jungle?

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/05/17/398765777/who-did-this-to-perus-jungle

Image: An aerial photo shows the environmental destruction in the wake of illegal gold mining in the Peruvian Amazon. Courtesy of Gregory Asner, Carnegie Institution for Science

npr.org - May 17, 2015 - Jason Beaubien

Gold has been a blessing and a curse for Peru for centuries. In the 16th century, one of the first Spanish explorers to arrive, Francisco Pizarro, was so enthralled by the mineral riches that he took the Inca king hostage.

Pizarro demanded a room filled with gold for the release of the Atahualpa. According to legend, the Inca delivered the ransom, packing a room from floor to ceiling with the precious metal.

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What Happens To A Country When An Outbreak Of Ebola Ends?

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO by Linda Poon                                                         May 3, 2015

Liberia is nearing a milestone. On May 9, its Ebola outbreak will be officially declared over, assuming no new cases between now and then.

But what happens when an outbreak of Ebola ends?

 

Dr. Peter Piot (left) meets with Sukato Mandzomba, a nurse who contracted Ebola during the 1976 outbreak. Mandzomba now runs a makeshift hospital lab in Yambuku. Courtesy of Dr. Heidi Larson

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California Gov. Jerry Brown Orders Aggressive Greenhouse Gas Cuts By 2030

Governer Jerry Brown.

Image: Governer Jerry Brown.

huffingtonpost.com - April 29th 2015 - Kate Sheppard

California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order Wednesday directing the state to cut is greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, the toughest proposed cuts of any state in the nation.

The 2030 target will ensure that California can meet its emissions target for the middle of this century, which calls for an 80 percent cut by 2050, Brown said. The state is already on pace to meet its goal of bringing heat-trapping emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020, a target set under a 2006 state law.

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Tourists abandon Ghana despite its successes against Ebola

HUMANOSPHERE  by Tom Murphy                                                                          May 1, 2015

ELMINA, Ghana – Each evening the fishermen set out in their hand-carved wooden boats. By nightfall, the horizon is dotted by a long row of small lights, their own constellation. Fish are caught, the haul is sold in markets and life continues. But one group is noticeably absent from Elmina and other towns along Ghana’s coast – tourists.

The near-empty Elmina Bay Resort. (Credit: Tom Murphy)

Thousands of college students embark on a trip to see the world and do a bit of learning through the Semester at Sea program. The West African countries of Senegal and Ghana are usually on the itinerary, bringing a steady flow of tourism to the two countries. But the countries are not destinations for three consecutive semesters due to concerns about Ebola.

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Experts call for vigilance, sustained measures against Ebola

STARAFRICA.COM                                                                                 April 30, 2015

ABUJA, Nigeria  --Governments in West Africa should improve health governance by scaling up investments in health infrastructure and human capital to ensure proactive responses against pandemics such as Ebola, a panel of discussants on Ebola has recommended.

A statement by the ECOWAS Commission on Thursday in Abuja said that the panelists at the debate on “Ebola; one year after,” organized by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in Abuja on Tuesday, explained that such investments would engender effective preventive and preparedness initiatives and also address the weak health systems of countries in the region, which suffered the heaviest burden of the latest Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak...

In particular, they recommended that public education and sensitization as well as community mobilization, participation and vigilance must be sustained until the disease is totally eliminated. There should also be effective psycho-social support and reintegration programmes for survivors and children orphaned by the disease....

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Managing health crises after Ebola

 

SCI DEVELOPMENT NET                                                                                April 29, 2015
(includes links to five feature stories and editorials on communication issues and other subjects.)
The outbreak of Ebola that has affected West Africa since December 2013 is the largest to date, with enormous human and economic costs. It has also exposed weaknesses in the global response system, including the handling of communication and complex social responses. What can we learn from this to better manage future health emergencies?

This Spotlight presents an in-depth analysis including opinions, facts and figures, and key resources. It features commentary by Sylvie Briand of the WHO, Rosamund Southgate of Médecins Sans Frontières and Annie Wilkinson of the Institute of Development Studies. 

It includes first-hand accounts by researchers with experience in the field, and interviews with social science expert Melissa Leach and communications managers at Médecins Sans Frontières-UK and BBC Media Action.
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The Next Victims of Ebola

The epidemic may be nearing “zero cases” — but it's still disrupting the delivery of vaccines for measles, polio, and other deadly childhood diseases.

FOREIGN POLICY                                                                                                    April 27, 2015

by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, and Seth Berkley,  President and CEO of the Gavi vaccine alliance

When the Ebola epidemic in West Africa comes to an end, it will be marked by two simple words: “zero cases.” But this momentous milestone will also signal the beginning of a new struggle as the long and difficult process of recovering from a crisis that has claimed more than 10,000 lives commences. Ebola has not only drawn attention to the vast gap that exists between rich and poor nations; it has widened that divide too, setting the people of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea even further back. The opportunity to narrow and ultimately close this gap cannot be neglected.

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Rebuilding after Ebola will require the world’s help

WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL                             Aug. 18, 2015

THE RAVAGING of populations in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea by the Ebola virus over the past year has been devastating. The virus killed 10,702 people and left behind vast economic and emotional tolls. The rest of the world responded slowly to the outbreak but eventually rallied. Now it is time to do the same with the aftermath and extend a hand for rebuilding...

The outbreak has receded, but weak local health-care systems proved inadequate when the virus began to spread last year, and improvements are vital in all three countries, especially a much-strengthened system of surveillance to spot any resurgence. Trained health-care workers are in short supply. A small but important step was taken recently in the announcement that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will help set up an African CDC that could keep the continent one step ahead of another scourge. But the rest of the world also has a stake in making sure that the region builds a better firewall against infectious disease....

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Ebola: World Bank Group Provides New Financing to Help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Recover from Ebola Emergency

THE WORLD BANK                                                                           April 17, 2015

New GDP Estimates Show International Support Vital to Speed Recovery

WASHINGTON--The World Bank Group (WBG) announced today that it would provide at least US$650 million during the next 12 to 18 months to help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone recover from the devastating social and economic impact of the Ebola crisis and advance their longer-term development needs. The new WBG pledge brings the organization’s total financing for Ebola response and recovery efforts to date to US$1.62 billion.

The additional funding announcement comes as the WBG releases new GDP estimates showing that the Ebola epidemic continues to cripple the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Estimated GDP losses for the three countries in 2015 rose to US$2.2 billion: US$240 million for Liberia, US$535 million for Guinea and US$1.4 billion for Sierra Leone. In addition to the severe effects of Ebola, the economic downturn in the three countries is aggravated by the sharp decline in global iron ore prices, as well as the collapse of the mining sector in Sierra Leone...

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Dramatic’ progress in fighting Ebola must be followed by long-term recovery efforts

UNITED NATIONS NEWS CENTRE                                                      April 16, 2015

WASHINGTON  --Intense efforts to control the Ebola outbreak in the three most-affected West African countries in will continue, the United Nations health chief said in Washington, DC today, adding that the international community is also looking for ways to build on dramatic recent progress by aiding with efforts aimed at recovery from the outbreak.

Tuesday 14 April 2015 was a happy day in Sierra Leone as children returned to school after many months             away, due to the Ebola outbreak. Photo: WHO/N. Alexander

“The goal is to help people and their communities to return to a normal life again,” said Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). “It means that children are going back to school, women can once again shop in their local markets, and livelihoods are restored.”

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