. Energy News .

France sends emergency anti-locust aid
by Staff Writers
Paris (UPI) Jul 12, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

France said this week it is mobilizing emergency efforts to stop locust swarms in Africa's Sahel from spreading farther into drought-stricken Niger and Mali.

The French Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it had released $1 million in emergency funding targeted to Niger -- the country currently most affected -- through a contribution to National Center for Locust Control in Mauritania.

Part of the funding will also go to help in a regional response to the locust swarms though an emergency fund set up by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The latter effort will be aimed at surveying and controlling locust in Mali, where militant Islamists and Tuareg rebels have used the chaos created by the March overthrow of President Amadou Toumani Toure to seize control of the northern part of the country.

"Groups of desert locusts have been identified in recent weeks in the northern part of the Sahelian strip by the surveillance system set up by the countries of the region," the French ministry said in a statement. "These groups were notably found in northern Niger and Mali where insecurity could hamper the necessary survey and control operations."

The spread of this locust invasion to the southern part of the Sahel region, Paris said, "would have disastrous consequences, resulting in the loss of crops and the prospect of a worsening food crisis."

The ministry said the swift mobilization of donors, notably France and the EU, "has already made it possible to cover, within a few days, the immediate needs, estimated by the FAO to be $2.5 million."

"France will remain particularly attentive to developments in the situation in the weeks and months ahead."

The Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Western Region, an inter-regional FAO committee working with 11 countries in North Africa and the Sahel, has indicated it plans to double its efforts to stop the plague, France24 reported.

Swarms were first spotted in northern Niger in May, but efforts to keep them from reproducing were hampered by the fact that heavy rainfall earlier in the year had created ideal breeding conditions.

Despite the control efforts, swarms of the insects are moving south into Niger's agricultural breadbasket, where around 1.2 million acres of crops are at risk of being destroyed.

The unrest in northern Mali has meant FAO efforts to control the locust swarms from spreading there have been brought to a halt.

Swarms of immature locusts have invaded the Kidal and Aguelhok regions in northern Mali, sparking concerns the insects may devastate the country as it reels from drought, conflict, and the displacement of more than 360,000 refugees from the fighting, the United Nations has warned.

"It is difficult to know exactly how the situation is, as it is not safe to send scientific teams there," Manda Sadio Keita, an FAO program officer, told the U.N. news service IRIN. "We cannot assess and fight locusts anymore."

The government of Mali estimated in April almost 3 million people were living in conditions of food insecurity in drought-affected areas, while the FAO has since pegged the number at 1.6 million people throughout the regions of Gao, Kidal, Timbuktu and parts of Mopti, Voice of America reported.

Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

School days rivalry leads to pocket sommelier
Napa, California (AFP) July 11, 2012
Daniel Feder is out to trump a grade school buddy who hit it big with online travel service TripAdvisor. He plans to do it by putting a sommelier in the pocket of any wine lover with a smartphone. The lawyer turned Internet entrepreneur created WineLuxury.com, a website operating in stealth mode ahead of the planned release of applications for Apple or Android-powered mobile gadgets in O ... read more

New eyes in the sky

IGARSS 2012 - 'Remote Sensing for a Dynamic Earth'

MSG-3 set to ensure quality of Europe's weather service from geostationary orbit

Images in an Instant: Suomi NPP Begins Direct Broadcast

Phone app will navigate indoors

Announcement of ACRIDS product line for Precision Airdrop Systems

SSTL announces exactView-1 satellite launch date

Galileo pathfinder GIOVE-A retires

Rising CO2 in atmosphere also speeds carbon loss from forest soils

Taiwan indicts loggers for axing 2000-year-old trees

Study Slashes Deforestation Carbon Emission Estimate

Scientists develop first satellite deforestation tracker for whole of Latin America

White rot fungus boosts ethanol production from corn stalks, cobs and leaves

AFPM Testifies on Concerns of the Renewable Fuel Standard and RIN Fraud

BIO Responds to Petroleum Refiners' Criticism of US Navy Demonstration of Advanced Biofuels

AliphaJet Joins Advanced Biofuels Association

Soluxe Solar Applauds Accomplishment of "Fuel-less Flight"

Solar Community Installs Solar System on San Antonio Porsche Dealership

VERSOLSOLAR Provides Solutions for Reducing Total Costs of PV Plant Construction

KYOCERA Solar Modules Confirmed as PID Resistant

Italian police seize giant wind farm in mafia probe

GL Garrad Hassan releases update of WindFarmer 5.0

U.S moves massive wind farm plan forward

Belgium wind farm a go after EIB loan

Huge Australian coal mine wins conditional approval

Russia expands presence on Spitsbergen

Australia scraps coal port expansion

Trapped China miner found after 17 days: state media

Hong Kong property tycoons charged with graft

Activists reject Chinese dissident suicide verdict

China 'investigating' Shanghai bishop over split

Hong Kong's new govt rocked by graft arrest

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement