Telefónica Germany selects Opanga Networks Inc for RAN Optimization

MUNICH, Germany, Jan. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Telefnica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG announced that it has selected Seattle based Opanga Networks, Inc as its RAN Optimization partner in Germany. "Mobile Network performance is under intensifying strain from the continual growth in data traffic," said Jochen Bockfeld, Director Core & Network Services at Telefnica Germany. "RAN Optimization software, that can be deployed rapidly in the mobile core, is mission critical to our being able to provide the best–in–class mobile experience for our customers."

Opanga's highly innovative software solutions are founded on advanced machine learning techniques that provide immediate benefit to mobile network customer experience. When Opanga's software is deployed, the network runs much faster to sustain the best possible user experience.

"We are very proud to call Telefnica Germany our customer," said Ben Hadorn, Head of European Operations for Opanga Networks. "Telefnica Germany is a flagship operator as well as an innovation leader in our industry and our solutions will be pivotal in helping the Telefnica team sustain the very best possible experience for their customers."

As the Mobile Core migrates to the cloud, new opportunities to leverage innovative software technologies incorporating state of the art machine learning become available to network designers. The mobile industry is at a vital point where innovation and software must augment the "build a bigger" network approach.

About Telefnica Germany

Telefnica Germany offers telecommunication services for private and business customers as well as innovative digital products and services in the field of Internet of Things and data analysis. The company is one of the leading integrated telecommunications providers in Germany. In mobile communications alone, Telefnica Germany / O2 manages more than 42.7 million connections without M2M (as of 30.09.2020) – no other network operator connects more people in Germany. Under the core brand O2 as well as various second and partner brands, the company sells post– and prepaid mobile products with innovative mobile data services. The basis for this is the mobile network based on a highly resilient GSM, UMTS and LTE infrastructure. At the same time, the company is building a powerful and energy–efficient 5G network. Telefnica Germany also provides telephony and high–speed Internet products based on different technologies in the fixed network area. Telefnica Deutschland Holding AG has been listed in the Prime Standard on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (TecDAX) since 2012. In the 2019 financial year the company generated sales of 7.4 billion euros with almost 8,500 employees. The company is majority–owned by the Spanish telecommunications group Telefnica S.A. with headquarters in Madrid. With business activities in 14 countries and a customer base of around 350 million lines, the group is one of the largest telecommunications providers in the world.

About Opanga Networks

Opanga Networks is a software solutions company focused on developing products which make mobile networks much more efficient, faster and capable of ultra–high performance. Our products are installed in the mobile core, dramatically accelerating Radio Access Network (RAN) performance. Opanga solutions elevate QoE by relieving congestion on cell sites which are overburdened with unrelenting growth of data traffic. Opanga offers the only ultra–high RAN performance solutions which can be deployed network–wide in a matter of hours.

For more information, please contact Opanga Networks at lightningfastmobile@opanga.com


We are Facing a Climate Emergency, Warns UN Chief

Secretary-General António Guterres (left) discusses the State of the Planet with Professor Maureen Raymo at Columbia University in New York City. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

By Antonio Guterres
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 26 2021 – We begin this year with a heightened awareness of the importance of resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that we cannot afford to ignore known risks.

Climate disruption is a risk we are well aware of. The science has never been clearer.

We are facing a climate emergency.

We are already witnessing unprecedented climate extremes and volatility, affecting lives and livelihoods on all continents.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, there have been more than 11,000 disasters due to weather, climate and water-related hazards over the past 50 years at a cost of some $3.6 trillion US dollars.

Extreme weather and climate-related hazards have also killed more than 410,000 people in the past decade, the vast majority in low and lower middle-income countries. That is why I have called for a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience.

We need the trillions of taxpayers’ dollars funding the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to jump-start the low-carbon, high-resilience future we need.

But recovery cannot only be for the developed world. We must expand the provision of liquidity and debt relief instruments to developing and middle-income countries that lack the resources to relaunch their economies in a sustainable and inclusive way.

I see five priorities to guarantee adaptation and resilience.

First, donor countries and multilateral, regional and national development banks need to significantly increase the volume and predictability of their finance for adaptation and resilience.

The recent United Nations Environment Programme Adaptation Gap Report calculates annual adaptation costs in developing countries alone to be in the range of $70 billion US dollars.

These figures are likely to reach $140 or eventually up to 300 billion US dollars in 2030 and the range between $280 and 500 billion in 2050. But huge gaps remain on financing for adaptation in developing countries.

That is why I have called for 50 per cent of the total share of climate finance provided by all developed countries and multilateral development banks to be allocated to adaptation and resilience in developing countries. Adaptation cannot be the neglected half of the climate equation.

The African Development Bank set the bar in 2019 by allocating over half of its climate finance to adaptation. I urge all donors and multilateral development banks to commit to this goal by COP26 and deliver on it at least by 2024.

I welcome today’s commitment by Prime Minister Mark Rutte on behalf of the Government of the Netherlands. Let us remember that developed countries must meet the commitments made in the Paris Agreement to mobilize $100 billion US dollars a year from private and public sources for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries.

Second, all budget allocations and investment decisions need to be climate-resilient.

Climate risk must be embedded in all procurement processes, particularly for infrastructure. Developing countries must receive the necessary support and the tools to achieve this. The United Nations system is ready to support this effort worldwide.

Third, we need to significantly scale-up existing catastrophe-triggered financial instruments such as the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility and the African Risk Capacity.

I also call on donors, the multilateral development banks and private finance institutions to work with vulnerable countries on developing new instruments with innovation to incentivize investments in resilience building.

For every dollar invested in climate resilient infrastructure, six dollars can be saved, as Prime Minister Mark Rutte just said.

Fourth, we need to ease access to finance, especially for the most vulnerable, and expand debt relief initiatives. The share for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in total climate finance remains small, representing only 14 per cent and 2 per cent of flows respectively.

These countries stand on the frontline of the climate crisis, yet, due to size and capacity constraints, they face significant challenges in accessing climate finance to build resilience.

There must be a collective effort to remove these obstacles.

Finally, we need to support regional adaptation and resilience initiatives.

This would allow, for example, debt-for-adaptation swaps, for example for the Caribbean or the Pacific Islands, and provide much needed liquidity to vulnerable countries in dire need.

Support for adaptation and resilience is a moral, economic and social imperative.

Today, one person in three is still not adequately covered by early warning systems, and risk-informed early approaches are not at the scale required.

As illustrated by the Global Commission on Adaptation, just 24 hours warning of a coming storm or heatwave can cut the ensuing damage by 30 per cent. We need to work together to ensure full global coverage by early warning systems to help minimize these losses.

We have the tools, skills and opportunity to deliver “more, faster and better” adaptation actions. I hope this summit helps to secure the breakthrough on adaptation and resilience that is needed and that it leads to ambitious outcomes at COP 26.

Let us live up to our responsibilities and jointly change course towards a sustainable, fair and resilient future.

 


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Implementation Research to Achieve Health Related #SDGs

By Shafi Bhuiyan
TORONTO, Canada, Jan 26 2021 – The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages. The main focus of the SDGs is to improve equity to meet the needs of women, children and disadvantaged populations in particular.

Shafi Bhuiyan PhD

Traditionally, a mother nurtures a family through care, support, and love. Hence, the health of a family starts with the health of the mother. Maternal health is often overlooked in many countries, focusing only on treating complications when deemed ‘necessary’. However, contrary to that, maternal health care needs to cover all the aspects of a mother’s health, starting from pre-pregnancy to post-pregnancy extending into childcare.

Globally, the Maternal and Child Health MCH Handbook International Committee’s implementation research established that the MCH handbook is an innovative home-based record that integrates information about maternal and child health into one booklet, including pregnancy, labour, immunization, breastfeeding, nutrition, child growth and development, and diseases. As such, it has proven to be an effective tool in promoting and protecting the health of mothers and children. MCH handbooks are often the only health care guides that facilitate equitable access to primary health care. The handbook will thus help to break the stigma of seeking health care for women and empower women to make informed decisions about their own health and pregnancy.

The handbook was first introduced in Japan in 1948, along with other public health interventions. The handbook has helped Japan become the country with the second-lowest infant mortality rate in the world. Nevertheless, Japan is still identifying new perspectives and potential to use the MCH handbook for early detection of diseases in children (autism, neurodevelopmental disorders) and the evaluation of risks for obesity, cardiovascular, endocrine diseases, and mental illness.

The MCH handbook has been adopted in over 42 developed and developing countries worldwide, and has proven its efficacy in enhancing maternal and child healthcare. Mothers with MCH handbooks have been observed as being more knowledgeable of proper antenatal care, good nutritional choices during pregnancy, and possess increased awareness of the importance of immunization. Also, content of the MCH handbook is flexible and easy to edit according to the country’s culture and socio economic status.

The MCH handbook helps service providers and users to understand what comprehensive MCH services entail. With its two-way interface, the handbook also provides mothers with an opportunity to collaborate with healthcare providers. It enables mothers to document their health concerns, symptoms, and timelines to monitor their health progress over time. Simultaneously, it allows healthcare providers to keep records of health services accessed by mothers. This reciprocal exchange of information between the healthcare provider and mothers increases both the provider’s capacity to monitor health status and the patient’s capacity to understand when to seek medical care.

The handbook is recognized for its simplicity, cost-effectiveness, ease of implementation and the aggregation of multiple health knowledge tools and health records. Its simplistic user interface has also demonstrated a huge impact on economic and research value.

Even before the emergence of COVID-19, high-quality and timely maternal healthcare services were unavailable, inaccessible, or unaffordable for millions of women. Now with public health restrictions, there is an excessive burden on the healthcare system. This limits the access to care and negatively impacts women’s and children’s health. As a result, many expecting mothers are likely to end up receiving less than adequate care throughout their pregnancy.

Disruption of essential services might lead to disproportionately greater perinatal losses in areas with high maternal and neonatal mortality, reductions in breastfeeding prevalence and an increase in the number of unvaccinated and under-vaccinated children. All these factors exacerbate the existing inequities in accessing healthcare services. However, the MCH handbook could promote a continuum of care for maternal and child health and bridge the existing gap even during the pandemic. Utilizing the handbook [digital or paper books] also ensures invisible mothers and children become visible. It helps strengthen the healthcare system by allowing women to become active participants in their healthcare.

Globally, the MCH handbook has been used in many countries for over two decades. There are now efforts to develop a digital MCH handbook application, thereby ensuring safe delivery and MCH services locally and globally. The MCH handbook digital application is expected to help reduce delays in decision-making at the family level, as well as delays in arranging quality services at the facility level.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasize improving health equity so that ‘No One is Left Behind’. Pilot implementation research from multiple countries has demonstrated that the MCH Handbook is a useful tool for extending the knowledge for better access to quality primary health care, that is affordable and equitable. It could also support the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and promote effective maternal and child health programs. Thus, the MCH handbook provides a platform to improve universal access to health-care services, strengthen human health security and reduce the “unmet need” for the most unprivileged population.

Dr. Shafi Bhuiyan is an award-winning professor and an internationally recognized–academic/professional leader in global health. He is a co-creator of Pilot Masters of Sciences program at U of T, and a co-founder & academic director of the Internationally Trained Medical Doctors Bridging Program at Ryerson University. Dr. Bhuiyan currently serves as the Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research and a visiting Professor, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences.

 


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Global Economic Recovery Remains Precarious in post-COVID-19 Years

Credit: United Nations

By External Source
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 26 2021 – The United Nations has warned that the devastating socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come unless smart investments in economic, societal and climate resilience ensure a robust and sustainable recovery of the global economy.

In 2020, the world economy shrank by 4.3 per cent, over two and half times more than during the global financial crisis of 2009. The modest recovery of 4.7 per cent expected in 2021 would barely offset the losses of 2020, says the latest World Economic Situation and Prospects.

The report underscores that sustained recovery from the pandemic will depend not only on the size of the stimulus measures, and the quick rollout of vaccines, but also on the quality and efficacy of these measures to build resilience against future shocks.

“We are facing the worst health and economic crisis in 90 years. As we mourn the growing death toll, we must remember that the choices we make now will determine our collective future,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who remotely addressed the Davos Agenda event on January 25.

“Let’s invest in an inclusive and sustainable future driven by smart policies, impactful investments, and a strong and effective multilateral system that places people at the heart of all socio-economic efforts.”

Developed economies, projected to see a 4 per cent output growth in 2021, shrank the most in 2020, by 5.6 per cent, due to economic shutdowns and subsequent waves of the pandemic, increasing the risk of premature austerity measures that would only derail recovery efforts globally. Developing countries saw a less severe contraction at 2.5 per cent, with an expected rebound of 5.7 per cent in 2021, according to the estimates presented in the report.

Key Areas of Impact

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs says that 131 million more people were pushed into poverty in 2020, many of them women, children and people from marginalized communities. The pandemic has adversely affected women and girls disproportionately, exposing them to increased risk of economic devastation, poverty, violence and illiteracy.

Women make up more than 50 per cent of the workforce in high-risk labour and service intensive sectors, such as retail, hospitality and tourism – areas hardest hit by the lockdown. Many of them have limited or no access to social protection.

Massive and timely stimulus measures, amounting to US$12.7 trillion, prevented a total collapse of the world economy and averted a Great Depression. However, stark disparity in the size of the stimulus packages rolled out by developed and developing countries will put them on different trajectories of recovery, highlights the report.

The stimulus spending per capita by the developed countries has been nearly 580 times higher than those of the least developed countries (LDCs) although the average per capita income of the developed countries has been only 30 times higher than that of the LDCs.

The drastic disparity underscores the need for greater international solidarity and support, including debt relief, for the most vulnerable group of countries.

Moreover, financing these stimulus packages entailed the largest peacetime borrowing, increasing public debt globally by 15 per cent. This massive rise in debt will unduly burden future generations unless a significant part is channelled into productive and sustainable investment, and to stimulate growth.

According to the report, global trade shrank by an estimated 7.6 per cent in 2020 against the backdrop of massive disruptions in global supply chains and tourism flows. Lingering trade tensions between major economies and stalemates in multilateral trade negotiations were already constraining global trade before the pandemic.

“The current crisis reiterates the importance to revitalize the rule-based multilateral trading system to put the world economy on the trajectory of a robust and resilient recovery,” said the Under-Secretary-General of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), Liu Zhenmin. “We must make global trade resilient to shocks to ensure trade remains the engine of growth for the developing countries.”

The report highlights opportunities for developing countries if they can prioritize investments that advance human development, embrace innovation and technology, and strengthen infrastructure, including creating resilient supply chains.

Stressing the importance of stimulating investments, the report shows that while the majority of the stimulus spending went into protecting jobs and supporting current consumption, it also fuelled asset price bubbles worldwide, with stock market indices reaching new highs during the past several months.

“The depth and severity of the unprecedented crisis foreshadows a slow and painful recovery,” said UN Chief Economist and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development Elliott Harris.

“As we step into a long recovery phase with the roll out of the vaccines against COVID-19, we need to start boosting longer-term investments that chart the path toward a more resilient recovery – accompanied by a fiscal stance that avoids premature austerity and a redefined debt sustainability framework, universal social protection schemes, and an accelerated transition to the green economy.”

An unprecedented crisis – one that has killed more than 2 million people, uprooted many more lives, forced families into poverty, exacerbated income and wealth inequality between communities, disrupted international trade and paralyzed the global economy – needs an extraordinary response.

Ultimately, the report underscores the importance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – the blueprint for a fair, peaceful and resilient world.

“Promoting inclusive and equitable growth, reducing inequality and enhancing environmental sustainability is the best plan we have to recover from this crisis and safeguard the world against future crises. Building resilience must guide every aspect of the recovery and we will find women playing critical roles as champions of resilience,” added Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, UN DESA’s Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs.

Source: UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)

 


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International Partnership Helps Mongolia Counter Climate Change

A woman stands outside a yurt in Ger District, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. There is power plant nearby but the government says it aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Courtesy: CC BY-SA 4.0/Nathalie Daoust

A woman stands outside a yurt in Ger District, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. There is power plant nearby but the government says it aims to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Courtesy: CC BY-SA 4.0/Nathalie Daoust

By Manipadma Jena
BHUBANESWAR, India, Jan 26 2021 – Climate warming is believed to have taken place at some of the fastest rates in the world in Mongolia, raising the country’s average temperatures by 2.24°C between 1940 and 2015, with the last decade being the warmest of the past 76 years.

In the Gobi Desert, the occurrence of dust storms increased from 18 to 57 days between 1960 to 2007, and in 2000 almost half a million people were affected by drought. The north-eastern Asian country’s northern region is expected to become more arid over this century as annual precipitation decreased by 7 percent over the past 76 year despite an increase in winter rains. In addition to the drying landscape, changes in water availability is a serious, growing concern.

“Around 90 percent of the annual precipitation is now lost to evapotranspiration. Livestock feed is increasingly falling short (in the steppes),” Dr. Batjargal Zamba, Mongolia’s National United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) focal point, told IPS via Skype from Ulaanbaatar.

Traditional livelihoods bear the brunt of changing climate

Between 1999 and 2002, and again between 2009 and 2010, Mongolia was hit by a series of extremely harsh winters or dzuds that resulted in the death of around 10 million of an estimated 44 million livestock population. The extreme cold and coating of icy snow can prevent animals from getting to their pasture and causes mass deaths. Nearly 70 percent rangeland pastures are degraded, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

This is a major push factor for the huge migration of traditional herders of camels, yaks, goats, and sheep into Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city on the banks of the Tuul River in the north-central portion of the country. Urban availability of better health, education and market facilities add to the rural migration.

Nearly half of Mongolia’s 3.2 million people reside in its capital, and the city is facing uncontrollable air pollution, making climate impacts worse. Ulaanbaatar, like other Mongolian cities, has air pollution concentrations — mostly from coal burning to heat homes  — almost six times higher than the recommended World Health Organisation (WHO) air quality guidelines.

In traditionally dry Mongolia, flash floods have become a new feature. As warmer air has a higher capacity to carry moisture in the form of water vapour, global warming is already causing extreme rainfall events. In summer, Mongolia’s 2.24°C higher temperature is melting the snow faster, thawing the permafrost, so much so that it is not just the vast Gobi Desert in the south which is affected, but devastating flash floods have reached Ulaanbaatar, destroying roads and houses on its way, according to Zamba. 

These natural hazards occurring from shifts in climate dynamics frequently affect Mongolia with high loss and damage to agriculture and livestock sectors, hampering poverty reduction efforts, causing economic shock, and contributing to unsustainable rural to urban migration. With a per capita income of $4,295, Mongolia was ranked 106th globally, according to the World Bank.

Mongolia steps up climate control with international partnerships

According to Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the government has been undertaking a number of measures, which include:

  • National Climate Change Programme (2011),
  • Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (2015),
  • Green Development Policy (2015), 
  • Sustainable Development Vision 2030 (2016), and
  • the newly-approved Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

The central element for implementing the Paris Agreement are the NDCs of each of the 196 Parties to the climate convention. NDCs are national climate plans highlighting climate actions, related targets, policies and measures governments aims to implement in response to climate change and as a contribution to global climate action.

Mongolia is engaged closely with international efforts to mitigate climate change and its impacts. It is one of the 63 countries that is being supported by the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP), an initiative of the NDC Partnership (NDCP) with financial and technical assistance not only to submit enhanced NDCs but to also fast-track their implementation.

Mongolia’s NDCs, outlining and communicating their government’s post-2020 climate actions, was approved in November 2019. In it, Mongolia intends to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 22.7 percent by 2030, compared to the business-as-usual scenario. This goal excludes land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF). To reduce emissions, it will focus on the energy sector, namely energy production, energy consumption and transmission loss. In the non-energy sector it will focus on agriculture, industry, and waste-to-energy.

Adaptation in the livelihoods sector, especially in nature-based solutions to water conservation, is also highlighted in the NDCs.

“In addition, if mitigation measures such as carbon capture and sequestration; waste-to-energy, technologies, which are few with developing nations are implemented under international financial mechanism and technical support, Mongolia could achieve a 27.2 percent reduction in total national GHG emissions,” Zamba told IPS.

“This would include capture of methane gas from coal mining, waste-to-energy conversion particularly utilising Ulaanbaatar city’s massive waste dumps. Additionally, greening the steppe region, which covers more than three-fourths of the national territory, increasing forest cover would build up a substantial carbon sink [to increase] carbon removal and reduction in total, to as high as 40.9 percent,” asserted Zamba. Siberian larches and cedars, spruces, pines, and firs with deciduous trees birches, aspens, and poplars cover Mongolia’s northern mountain slopes.

After Mongolia’s new national government came to power in June 2020, the drive to mitigate climate change has been increased via an inter-sectoral integrated climate action plan involving as many as nine ministries. 

The CAEP has also helped on various fronts, making Mongolia’s climate actions more robust and inter-sectoral. Under the CAEP, the Mongolian government has partnered with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), among other institutions over the course of 2020 and 2021, according to ministry sources.

“The CAEP has facilitated to integrate NDC implementation into our national action plans and strategies. Mongolia aspires to reach net-zero emission by 2050,” Zamba said.

Enkhbat Altangerel, Director-General of Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism, told IPS via email: “Mongolia has joined the NDC Partnership in 2017 and since has been an active member. A number of significant achievements were attained within the frame of the cooperation, such as a partnership plan which was developed and approved, NDC Partners’ online and coordination platform was established. This was a pioneering measure in the field and currently the platform functions as the main NDC coordination and tracking mechanism at the national level.” 

Private sector engagement is essential and prioritised in the implementation of climate policies said Altangerel. Already two private sector commercial banks, XacBank and the Trade and Development Bank, are designated as Accredited Entities for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and are able to disburse GCF-provided green loans to large solar projects. The government has also proposed a Mongolian Green Finance Corporation in cooperation with GCF, which will become the main national green financing body.

Implementing the 2019 NDC till 2030, inclusive of mitigation and adaptation plans, is calculated to cost $11.5 billion, Zamba told IPS.

A yurt in Mongolia with a solar panel that provides electricity and also connects the satellite tv. Courtesy: CC By 2.0/Niek van Son

A yurt in Mongolia with a solar panel that provides electricity and also connects the satellite tv. Courtesy: CC By 2.0/Niek van Son

Speeding towards renewable energy in the Land of Eternal Blue Sky

With between 220 and 260 clear, sunny days each year, Mongolia is called the Land of the Eternal Blue Sky. The country’s combined wind and solar power potential is estimated by the ADB to be equivalent of 2,600 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity or 5,457 terawatt-hours of clean electricity generation per year. The amount is enough to meet the country’s energy demand of around 1.2GW as of 2018 and allow it to still export the remaining, yet currently Mongolia’s coal-dependent energy sector emits two-thirds of its GHG. Coal being cheap and plentiful, coal-fired thermal power plants accounted for a total of 96.1 percent of the total electricity supply in 2015.

But that’s about to change.

“The most emitting sectors are energy and agriculture,” admits Altangerel, “but renewable energy is where our key mitigation achievements are, so far.”

From a current renewable mix of 20 percent share in total electricity generation dominated by wind and solar, with hydro and geothermal, it is targeting a total 1,356 MW or triple the current installed capacity by 2030.

To reduce dirty power generation, Mongolia will also install its first large-scale advanced battery energy storage system in partnership with ADB, facilitated by CAEP. Renewable is also set to provide urban heating in Mongolia’s bitter winter where coal, wood and even rubber tyres are used by the urban poor.

Facilitating private sector partnerships

The private sector engagement is essential in implementation of climate actions said Altangerel.

“We are not asking the private sector to help; we are coercing them. With incentives of course!” Zamba half-jokingly adds. In developing economies public-private partnerships (PPP) are essential, with governments being resource constrained.

The government has prioritised cooperation with the private sector in implementing the NDCs and relevant policies.

After XacBank, one of Mongolia’s large commercial financial institutions in 2019 became the first private sector Accredited Entity for GCF, the bank disburses GCF-provided green loans to large solar projects. The Trade and Development Bank is the second bank to be designated Accredited Entity for GCF. Mongolia has also proposed a Mongolian Green Finance Corporation in cooperation with GCF which will become the main green financing national body.

“Considering the efficiency and rapid process of the CAEP programme, our government is further planning to extend its collaboration with NDC Partnership at sectoral level for the implementation of sector-specific NDC targets and activities,” Altangerel told IPS.

 


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Nyxoah announces full-body 1.5T and 3T MRI compatibility for the Genio® system to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

PRESS RELEASE

Nyxoah announces full–body 1.5T and 3T MRI compatibility for the Genio system to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Mont–Saint–Guibert, Belgium "" 26th January, 2021 "" Nyxoah SA (Euronext: NYXH) ("Nyxoah" or the "Company"), a health–technology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative solutions and services to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), today announces the Company has received CE Mark Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) conditional labeling for the current Genio neurostimulation–based OSA therapy to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

This revised labeling ensures that patients who receive the Genio system and those already implanted can now undergo full–body 1.5T and 3T MRI diagnostic scans within approved parameters and access the benefits of Genio unique bilateral stimulation therapy.

Olivier Taelman, Chief Executive Officer of Nyxoah, commented: "We are delighted to announce full–body 1.5T and 3T MR conditional CE mark approval for the Genio system, resulting from the unique and unparalleled design of our technology. Such an extensive labeling is unique to Nyxoah in the field of neurostimulation–based OSA therapies. Currently other therapies cannot fully address this need due to limitations to 1.5T MRI scans and body areas exclusion. As a company, Nyxoah always puts the patient first and seeks to ensure minimal disruption of their daily life and optimal Quality of Life (QOL)."

Prof. Dr. Clemens Heiser, MD, MHBA, PhD, ENT surgeon from Klinikum Rechts der Isar "" Munich added: "Prevalence of MRI scans as diagnostic modality is growing, especially for OSA patients, as this condition is being associated with increased risk of comorbidities, such as cardiovascular diseases. The addition of 1.5T and 3T full–body MR conditional labeling for the Genio system will be another critical benefit for my patients and will help me ensure those who may need an MRI can benefit from Nyxoah's innovations with no fear for themselves and their implant during the exam".

– ENDS –

For further information, please contact:

Nyxoah
Milena Venkova, Corporate Communications Manager
milena.venkova@nyxoah.com
+32 490 11 93 57

About Nyxoah

Nyxoah is a healthtech company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative solutions and services to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Nyxoah's lead solution is the Genio system, a CE–validated, patient–centered, next generation hypoglossal neurostimulation therapy for OSA, the world's most common sleep disordered breathing condition that is associated with increased mortality risk1 and comorbidities including cardiovascular diseases, depression and stroke.
Following the successful completion of the BLAST OSA study in patients with moderate to severe OSA, the Genio system received its European CE Mark in 2019. The Company is currently conducting the BETTER SLEEP study in Australia and New Zealand for therapy indication expansion, the DREAM IDE pivotal study for FDA approval and a post–marketing EliSA study in Europe to confirm the long–term safety and efficacy of the Genio system.
For more information, please visit www.nyxoah.com.

Caution "" Genio is CE marked since 2019. Investigational device in the United States. Limited by U.S. federal law to investigational use in the United States.


1 Young T. et al: Sleep Disordered Breathing and Mortality: Eighteen–Year Follow–up of the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort, Sleep. 2008 Aug 1; 31(8): 1071""1078.

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Poor Lives Matter, but Less

By Jomo Kwame Sundaram
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Jan 26 2021 – Current development fads fetishize data, ostensibly for ‘evidence-based policy-making’: if not measured, it will not matter. So, forget about getting financial resources for your work, programmes and projects, no matter how beneficial, significant or desperately needed.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Measure for measure
Agencies, funds, programmes and others lobby and fight for attention by showcasing their own policy agendas, ostensible achievements and potential. Many believe that the more indicators they get endorsed by the ‘international community’, the more financial support they can expect to secure.

Collecting enough national data to properly monitor progress on the Sustainable Development Goals is expensive. Data collection costs, typically borne by the countries themselves, have been estimated at minimally over three times total official development assistance (ODA).

Remember aid declined after the US-Soviet Cold War, and again following the 2008-9 global financial crisis. More recently, much more ODA is earmarked to ‘support’ private investments from donor countries.

With data demands growing, more pressure to measure has led to either over- or under-stating both problems and progress, sometimes with no dishonest intent. ‘Errors’ can easily be explained away as statistics from poor countries are notoriously unreliable.

Political, bureaucratic and funding considerations limit the willingness to admit that reported data are suspect for fear this may reflect poorly on those responsible. And once baseline statistics have been established, similar considerations compel subsequent ‘consistency’ or ‘conformity’ in reporting.

And when problems have to be acknowledged, ‘double-speak’ may be the result. Organisations may then start reporting some statistics to the public, with other data used, typically confidentially, for ‘in-house’ operational purposes.

Money, money, money
Economists generally prefer and even demand the use of money-metric measures. The rationale often is that no other meaningful measure is available. Many believe that showing ostensible costs and benefits is more likely to raise needed funding. Using either exchange rates or purchasing power parity (PPP) has been much debated. Some advocate even more convenient measures such as the prices of a standard McDonald’s hamburger in different countries.

Money-metrics imply that estimated economic losses due to, say, smoking or non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including obesity, tend to be far greater in richer countries, owing to the much higher incomes lost or foregone as well as costs incurred.

Development discourse changes
The four UN Development Decades after 1960 sought to accelerate economic progress and improve social wellbeing. Unsurprisingly, for decades, there have been various debates in the development discourse on measuring progress.

The rise of neoliberal economic thinking, claiming to free markets, has instead mainly strengthened and extended private property rights. Rejecting Keynesian and development economics, both associated with state intervention, neoliberalism’s influence peaked around the turn of the century.

The so-called ‘Washington Consensus’ of US federal institutions from the 1980s also involved the Bretton Woods institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, both headquartered in the American capital.

In 2000, the UN Secretariat drafted the Millennium Declaration. This, in turn, became the basis for the Millennium Development Goals which gave primacy to halving the number of poor. After all, who would object to reducing poverty. The poor were defined with reference to a poverty line, somewhat arbitrarily defined by the Bank.

Poverty fetish
Presuming money income to be a universal yardstick of wellbeing, this poverty measure has been challenged on various grounds. Most in poorer developing countries sense that much nuance and variation are lost in such measures, not only for poverty, but also for, say, hunger.

Anyone familiar with the varying significance, over time, of cash incomes and prices in most countries will be uncomfortable with such singular measures. But they are nonetheless much publicised and have implied continued progress until the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rejection of such singular poverty measures has led to multi-dimensional poverty indicators, typically to meet ‘basic needs’. While such ‘dashboard’ statistics offer more nuance, the continued desire for a single metric has led to the development, promotion and popularisation of composite indicators.

Worse, this has been typically accompanied by problematic ranking exercises using such composite indicators. Many have become obsessed with such ranking, instead of the underlying socio-economic processes and actual progress.

Blind neglect
Improving such metrics has thus become an end in itself, with little debate over such one-dimensional means of measuring progress. The consequent ‘tunnel vision’ has meant ignoring other measures and indicators of wellbeing.

In recent decades, instead of subsistence agriculture, cash crops have been promoted. Yet, all too many children of cash-poor subsistence farmers are nutritionally better fed and healthier than the offspring of monetarily better off cash crop or ‘commercial’ farmers.

Meanwhile, as cash incomes rise, those with diet-related NCDs have been growing. While life expectancy has risen in much of the world, healthy life expectancy has progressed less as ill health increasingly haunts the sunset years of longer lives.

Be careful what you wish for
Meanwhile, as poor countries get limited help in their efforts to adjust to global warming, rich countries’ focus on supporting mitigation efforts has included, inter alia, promoting ‘no-till agriculture’. Thus attributing greenhouse gas emissions implies corresponding mitigation efforts via greater herbicide use.

Maximising carbon sequestration in unploughed farm topsoil requires more reliance on typically toxic, if not carcinogenic pesticides, especially herbicides. But addressing global warming should not be at the expense of sustainable agriculture.

Similarly, imposing global carbon taxation will raise the price of, and reduce access to electricity for the ‘energy-poor’, who comprise a fifth of the world’s population. Rich countries subsidising affordable renewable energy for poor countries and people would resolve this dilemma.

Following the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, the UN proposed a Global Green New Deal (GGND) which included such cross-subsidisation by rich countries of sustainable development progress elsewhere.

The 2009 London G20 summit succeeded in raising more than the trillion dollars targeted. But the resources mainly went to strengthening the IMF, rather than for the GGND proposal. Thus, the finance fetish blocked a chance to revive world economic growth, with sustainable development gains for all.

 


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