News

    French, African Leaders Promote Fight Against Deforestation

    Lisa Bryant

    French and African leaders are calling for international aid to fight deforestation in the Congo Basin area - which is a key contributor to global warming.  The heads of state, who met in Paris before heading to the climate conference in Copenhagen, also said they would push to make the summit a success. 

    At a joint press conference in Paris with five African leaders, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said it is crucial to help preserve Africa's vast Congo Basin area, home to the world's second-largest forest.

    Mr. Sarkozy said fighting deforestation is one of the most efficient and economic ways to curb global warming.  The French President spoke after meeting with heads of state and senior officials from the 11 Congo-Basin countries.

    Mr. Sarkozy spoke as negotiators scramble to patch together some form of climate change accord in Copenhagen after days of disagreement and largely unproductive talks.  Heads of state are arriving in the Danish capital with the hopes of striking a political agreement by week's end.

    Fighting deforestation is one of the few key areas where negotiators have made progress - with a tentative deal to compensate countries for saving forests and other natural habitats that absorb carbon dioxide.

    On Tuesday, France and Africa published a joint statement calling for an agreement that will hold the rise of global temperatures to no more than two degrees and for financial aid to help poorer countries to adapt.

    Mr. Sarkozy also participated in a conference call Tuesday with U.S., German, and British leaders.  

    He said it appears U.S. President Barack Obama has agreed on so-called fast-start money - that is, short-term aid for poorer countries to deal with climate change.  The European Union has pledged $3.6 billion yearly in such financing between 2010 and 2012. 

    President Sarkozy said France, Britain and the United States are also trading ideas for ways to finance longer-term climate aid for poorer nations.  Experts estimate more than $100 billion will be needed by 2020.

    Several African leaders voiced optimism the climate talks in Copenhagen could be salvaged, despite concerns the negotiations have been watered down.  Talks were briefly suspended Monday, when African negotiators walked out in protest.

    But Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou-Nguesso struck an upbeat note.

    He said African leaders are not going to Copenhagen with a sentiment of failure, but rather with the determination to reach a deal.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora