press review - april 30/ may 4, 2018

World Food Program

WFP launches a campaign to help 350 thousand Venezuelan migrants

46 million dollars. This is the amount requested by the UN Agency World Food Program to provide food for at least 350 thousand Venezuelans who crossed the border to Colombia. Over one million people abandoned their country, but many have no way of getting an adequate meal. This is why the WFP will launch a distribution campaign to help, driving the local economy and supporting tens of thousands of people.

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The EU voted to ban pesticides believed to be harmful to bees

On 27 April, European MPs voted to extend the ban on the three neonicotinoids considered dangerous for bees and other pollinators. This decision follows the news that, at the end of March, the EFSA confirmed the harmfulness of imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, based on current scientific literature. Open air use of the three pesticides will thus be banned, whereas their use inside greenhouses will remain legal.

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Loma Linda University

Eating dark chocolate reduces stress and inflammation

Dark chocolate with high cocoa content (70 per cent minimum), facilitates stress reduction and reduces inflammation, improving moods, memory and the immune system. It is the result of two separate studies. Previously, the benefits of flavonoids found in cocoa were known, but in this case, the research measured the impact of different amounts taken at different times. As the researchers confirmed, the results were encouraging. 

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Investing in agriculture is vital for the future of Syria

The FAO is asking the international community to invest in agriculture to promote stability and recovery in the Syrian region. The request from the United Nations' agency for food and agriculture was advanced during an international fund raising meeting. Before the war in Syria, agriculture accounted for a quarter of the country's Gross Domestic Product and was the main way of life for nearly half the population. Today, a third of the Syrian population, 6.5 million people, is facing a major food crisis, while the war keeps on fueling one of the world's worst refugee crisis. 

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New Scientist

Eating oily fish may delay menopause by a few years

New research from the University of Leeds, in the United Kingdom, analyzed nearly 900 women who experienced menopause between 40 and 65 years of age, discovering that eating habits can influence the time its symptoms arrive. Women who ate a daily portion of refined pasta or rice tended to reach menopause about a year and a half before average, whereas a daily portion of oily fish was associated with a delay of over three years.

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How precision agriculture will change the way we produce food

Drones, self driving tractors, big data. Already in the next few years, precision agriculture will enable us to produce better, with fewer resources and less waste. According to forecasts, by 2020 this market will grow from 370 million dollars to 2.42 billion, and it will change the way we work the fields.

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Global Environment Facility

Over 4 billion dollars to protect the planet

This is the amount collected in the donation fund set up during the latest meeting of supporters of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) in Sweden, which includes ministers from many developing countries. The mission of the GEF is to work on three key issues in the next three years: transforming the food systems, managing forests and cities sustainably.

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Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition

Evaluating food intervention, the case of Ethiopia

How can we evaluate the effectiveness of a food intervention in a developing country? Sometimes this can be a very complex exercise, because promoters also have an interest in demonstrating maximum effectiveness. Eric Djimeu Wouabe, an impact assessment expert, recounts the case of iodine supplements supplied via iodized salt in Ethiopia, providing useful insights for those who would like to evaluate the effectiveness of their action.

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Agricultural data for better planning

Cultivating more food and mitigating climate change? Data from agricultural lands can help.

Access to data on agricultural land is essential for improving policy and agricultural production; it also enables us to improve adaptation and mitigate climate change.

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European Commission

The European Union and Mexico reached a new trade agreement

The trade agreement, part of the general review of the Global Agreement between the European Union and Mexico, eliminates tariffs on all goods, including those from the farming industry. The agreement also entails progressive rules on sustainable development.

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World Bank

Cities with low water resources

How can cities with little water prosper in a world where resources are not infinite? The new Water Scarce Cities Initiative (WSC) report from the World Bank tells the experience of cities across the world that are building resilient water collection systems in environments where resources are getting scarcer and scarcer.

Prepared with the contribution of urban water experts, opinion leaders and institutions, the report tries to modify the existing paradigm and demystifies solutions to improve the management of urban water scarcity. An innovative first hand look at how cities with low water resources can take destiny into their own hands, finding new ways to manage water building resilience against serious droughts.

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Investments for sustainable mobility

The UNEP report and the FiA Foundation demand infrastructural investments to implement the Sustainable Development Goals' 3.6 and 11.2 targets. The 'Share the Road' program helps governments and other stakeholders plan "mobility for people rather than mobility for cars". Several SDGs are involved: No. 3 (health and wellness) with target 3.6 (2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents); SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and target 11.2 in particular (by 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons).

needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons).

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