Climate Changes Devours Ancient Cedar Trees in Lebanon

       Often dubbed “Cedars of God”, the tall evergreens hark back millenia and are a source of great pride and a national icon in the small Mediterranean country.

The cedar tree, with its majestic horizontal branches, graces the nation’s flag and its bank notes.

But as temperatures rise, and rain and snowfall decrease, Lebanon’s graceful cedars are increasingly under attack by a tiny green grub that feeds off the youngest trees.

At 1,800 meters altitude, in the natural reserve of Tannourine in the north of Lebanon, ashen tree skeletons jut out of the forest near surviving cedars centuries old.

“It’s as if a fire had swept through the forest,” says Nabil Nemer, a Lebanese specialist in forest insects.

In ancient times, huge cedar forests were felled for their timber.

Egyptian pharaohs used the wood to make boats, and King Solomon is said to have used cedar to build his temple in Jerusalem.

But today’s culprits lie underground, just several centimeters (inches) below the tree trunk: bright green, wriggling larvae no larger than a grain of rice.

Since the late 1990s, infant cedar sawflies have been eating away at the forest in Tannourine, as well as several other nature reserves in northern Lebanon.

“In 2017, 170 trees dried up completely and became dead wood,” Nemer says.

‘Disturbed’

Like their food of choice, cedar sawflies have been around for thousands of years.

They mate in spring and lay their eggs on the cedar tree trunks, where grubs hatch and feast on cedar needles.

In the past, the larvae would then head back into the ground to hibernate for up to three or four years, before emerging again as adult sawflies with wings.

But a warming earth has disrupted this cycle, especially in the Mediterranean where “climate change is more intense”, according to Wolfgang Cramer, a scientist and member of Mediterranean Experts on Environmental and Climate Change (MedECC).

In a November report, MedECC said future warming in the Mediterranean region was “expected to exceed global rates by 25 percent”.

As the ground becomes less cold and humid in winter, sawflies are now springing out of the earth every year, and in larger numbers.

Their preferred victims are young cedar trees, aged 20 to 100 years old.

Temperatures in Tannourine have risen by two degrees Celsius in the past 30 years and there is less snow than before, Nemer says.

“With the drought, this larvae has been disturbed,” he explains.

In 1999, the authorities managed to keep the pest in check by spraying insecticides from a helicopter.

But for the past four years, the cedar sawfly population has again been swelling.

With chemical pesticides now banned, park authorities have resorted to a more natural, though less efficient treatment: injecting a fungus into the ground to kill the sleeping grubs.

The authorities have backed the initiative so far, but it’s a mammoth task that needs more funding, manpower and laboratories, Nemer says.

He says he hopes the state can increase its support, including by creating a nationwide authority to track “forest health”.

Race to replenish forests

Forests cover just over a tenth of Lebanon. They are mostly made up of oaks, pines and juniper trees, but also a minority of cedars.

As scientists fight to prevent cedar deaths, the government has embarked in a race against time to replenish the country’s forests.

Since 2012, it has helped plant more than two million new trees of all kinds across the country, agriculture ministry official Chadi Mohanna says.

The project is running a little late on a target of 40 million planted trees by 2030, but he is optimistic it will help mitigate climate change.

“In the next 20 to 30 years, we’ll start to see a change, with more humidity, and several degrees less during heat waves,” he says.

And civil society is also playing a role.

Since 2008, non-governmental organization Jouzour Lubnan has put 300,000 new trees in the ground.

On a recent sunny Sunday, in the rocky natural reserve of Jaj, dozens of scouts gathered to plant cedars, as Jouzour teamed up with the army to mark independence day.

Beyond centuries-old trees hugging the mountainside, boys and girls in blue shirts planted 300 saplings just a dozen centimeters high.

They protected them with bell-shaped cages and rocks to keep grazing animals at bay.

“Cedars have survived millions of years. They can also take on climate change and adapt,” said Jouzour co-founder Magda Bou Dagher Kharrat.

“We can’t lose hope, but we do need to help them.”

AFP

Source:
https://www.channelstv.com/2018/11/28/climate-change-devours-ancient-cedar-trees-in-lebanon/

2019: Abdulsalami Abubakar Commitee drums support for inec

Former Head of State and Chairman, National Peace Committee, Retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar has called for the support of stakeholders for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), ahead of the 2019 general elections.

•Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, retd
Abubakar made the call shortly after his committee met with management of INEC led by its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The former leader said political parties, journalists, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and security agencies were critical stakeholders needed by INEC to succeed in 2019 general elections.

He said the outcome of the meeting indicated that INEC was ready for the elections, but there was need for stakeholders to support it and make the elections free, fair, credible and peaceful.

“INEC briefed us on the preparations for elections, the challenges and what it is going to do in order to make sure that there is a peaceful, free and fair election.

“ We are taking note. There are certain flash points where he (INEC Chairman) wants the peace committee to intervene in order to bring peace so that elections will be conducted.

“On our part, we will do the best we can in order to have a sanitised political arena.

“You members of the press have also a role and duty to educate our people and the politicians so that when they go on campaigning, they campaign on issues.

“There should be politics without bitterness, there should not be any rancour,’’ he said.

Abubakar also called on journalists to ensure that citizens were adequately educated to avoid being used as thugs during campaigns and elections.

He also called for the need for Nigerians to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

He stressed the need to sensitise the people to avoid ballot box snatching and all type of hooliganism during elections.

“Our people should realise that peace is very paramount in any society. There must be peace before elections; there must be peace before we have country.

“So, I implore you to know that people have the tendency to believe it in total what they read and what they see.

“Make sure you educate our people and help in voter education and all the necessary things to be done so that there will be peaceful elections,’’ he said.

Abubakar said the next stage for the committee was to meet chairmen and secretaries of political parties and discuss the way forward.

After the meeting with political parties, we are going to draw a Memoradum of Understanding (MOU) for peace and tranquillity.

“This we hope will be signed by all the presidential candidates and the chairmen of the registered parties.’’

The former head of state added that the committee would interact with political parties to ensure that there was no hate speech, and issue based campaign where there was no name calling among political parties.

He added that “Each Nigerian has a role to play and I hope they will play their parts.’’ (NAN)

Source:
https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/11/2019-abdulsalami-abubakar-committee-drums-support-for-inec/

Togolese Cook who Murdered Credit Switch cook is Dead!

  • Lagos – A 22 year Togolese Cook Sunday Adefonou Anani, who was alleged to have murdered his boss, Opeyemi BadaLagos – A 22 year Togolese Cook Sunday Adefonou Anani, who was alleged to have murdered his boss, Opeyemi Badamosi Chairman of Credit Switch Technology, is dead.

Though details of his death is still very scanty.

Anani’s counsel got a message this morning that he is late.

The deceased was remanded in prison custody by an Igbosere Magistrates’Court in Lagos, on November 12 and had adjourned till December 18, pending the issuance of legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution DPP.

Chief Magistrate Mrs O.O Oshin, had made the order during the hearing of an application for remand, from the police.

The late suspect was charged with a one count of murder, which was committed on October 31, 2018, at Badamosi’s resident at 3b, Onikoyi Lane, Parkview Estate Ikoyi Lagos.

The charge stated that Anani, in order to rob, stabbed the deceased to death with a kitchen knife.

According to the charge the offence committed is contrary to section 222 and Punishable Under section 223 of the Criminal laws of Lagos State 2015.

The police Prosecutor Mr J.I Eboseremene had told the court that he had an application to remand the suspect in prison custody under section 115, of the administration of criminal justice law and 264, of adminstration of criminal justice law 2015.

” We pray the court that the defendant should be remanded in prison custody, for the first instance of 30 days,” Eboseremene said.

In his reply, the defendant’s counsel, Jamiu Alapo, who said he was not objecting to the remand, of the suspect, told the court that the suspect doesn’t understand English Language, but understands Pigin English.

Magistrate Oshin, in her ruling, held that there was nothing to reply on the remand application.

She said “In view of the remand application of murder, the defendant is remanded in prison custody in the first instance, of 30 days under sections 115 and 264 of the administration of criminal justice law 2015, pending the legal advice from the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution DPP.”

The case was adjourned till December 18, for DPP’s advice.

Source: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/11/breaking-togolese-cook-who-murdered-credit-switch-tech-boss-dead/

mosi Chairman of Credit Switch Technology, is dead.

Though details of his death is still very scanty.

Anani’s counsel got a message this morning that he is late.

The deceased was remanded in prison custody by an Igbosere Magistrates’Court in Lagos, on November 12 and had adjourned till December 18, pending the issuance of legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution DPP.

Chief Magistrate Mrs O.O Oshin, had made the order during the hearing of an application for remand, from the police.

The late suspect was charged with a one count of murder, which was committed on October 31, 2018, at Badamosi’s resident at 3b, Onikoyi Lane, Parkview Estate Ikoyi Lagos.

The charge stated that Anani, in order to rob, stabbed the deceased to death with a kitchen knife.

According to the charge the offence committed is contrary to section 222 and Punishable Under section 223 of the Criminal laws of Lagos State 2015.

The police Prosecutor Mr J.I Eboseremene had told the court that he had an application to remand the suspect in prison custody under section 115, of the administration of criminal justice law and 264, of adminstration of criminal justice law 2015.

” We pray the court that the defendant should be remanded in prison custody, for the first instance of 30 days,” Eboseremene said.

In his reply, the defendant’s counsel, Jamiu Alapo, who said he was not objecting to the remand, of the suspect, told the court that the suspect doesn’t understand English Language, but understands Pigin English.

Magistrate Oshin, in her ruling, held that there was nothing to reply on the remand application.

She said “In view of the remand application of murder, the defendant is remanded in prison custody in the first instance, of 30 days under sections 115 and 264 of the administration of criminal justice law 2015, pending the legal advice from the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution DPP.”

The case was adjourned till December 18, for DPP’s advice.

Source: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/11/breaking-togolese-cook-who-murdered-credit-switch-tech-boss-dead/

Nigerian Governor s*x tape set to be leaked

A former Director of Strategy and Communication under former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in the person of Jackson Ube has alleged that Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje’s s*x scandal will soon hit the public soon.

Ube who is also a journalist also hinted that Ganduje could be impeached by the Kano State House of Assembly.

 

“ALERT: Ganduje’s s*x scandal video on its way to the public. Watch out for Ganduje’s P*rn! No hiding place for the Kano Governor. Kano is boiling. Lawmakers planning impeachment!”

Governor Ganduje has been accused of taking kickbacks from contractors with incriminating videos of him making rounds on social media.