Resverlogix Enters into a Cooperation Agreement with the Supreme Council of the Arab-African Economy to Support the Development of Apabetalone for COVID-19 Patients

CALGARY, Alberta, Nov. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Resverlogix Corp. ("Resverlogix" or the "Company") (TSX: RVX), a world leader in epigenetics or gene regulation, is pleased to announce today that it has entered into a cooperation agreement with the Supreme Council of the Arab–African Economy which has expressed an interest in providing necessary investments and partnerships to support the entry of Resverlogix's first–in–class drug "" apabetalone into the Arab–African Economy.

"We are excited to be collaborating with the Supreme Council of the Arab–African Economy under the leadership of His Excellency Dr. Hani Abu Zaid," said Donald J. McCaffrey, President & CEO of Resverlogix. "By entering into this cooperation agreement, it will assist our approach in strengthening our relationships, developments, and interests within the Arab–African Economy, while propelling the development of apabetalone," further commented Mr. McCaffrey.

"The Supreme Council of the Arab–African Economy is pleased to be in collaboration with Resverlogix to provide the necessary investment and assistance to support the emergence of apabetalone into the Arab–African Economy. We look forward to working with Mr. McCaffrey and his team of world–class scientists and experts in the field of epigenetics," stated His Excellency Dr. Hani Abu Zaid, President of the Supreme Council for the Arab–African Economy.

Resverlogix has been actively working with hospitals and the respective ministries globally to commence COVID–19 clinical trials. On October 12th, 2021 Resverlogix received ethics committee approval for Western Canadian sites in a Phase 2 clinical trial for apabetalone in COVID–19 patients. On November 1st, 2021 the Canadian arm of the trial began actively recruiting patients. Additionally, a Phase 3 COVID–19 trial in the US is anticipated to commence in coming months based on final protocol approval.

Phase 2 Trial Overview "" Canada/Brazil

Study participants will be made up of patients hospitalized with confirmed COVID–19 cases. Participants will either receive twice daily doses of apabetalone for up to 4 weeks alongside standard of care, compared to standard of care alone. The primary outcome measure of the study will be change in the World Health Organization (WHO) Ordinal Scale for Clinical Improvement. A total of 100 patients are expected to be enrolled at multiple sites in Canada and Brazil. The study is actively recruiting in the Canadian arm. The full study protocol can be found on clinicaltrials.gov.

About the Supreme Council of Arab–African Economy – The Council's Mandate

The Supreme Economic Council for the Arab–African Economy is an economic–diplomatic body recognized by the United Nations, European Union, Arab League, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The Supreme Economic Council for the Arab–African Economy specializes in promoting and facilitating investments and trade in member nations and affiliates to strengthen their economies.

About Apabetalone

Apabetalone (RVX–208), is a first–in–class, epigenetic small molecule, or gene regulating, therapeutic candidate. It is a selective BET (bromodomain and extra–terminal) inhibitor, which works in preventing disease by turning genes on and/or off through regulation of gene expression. The prevalence of BET proteins in the human body allows apabetalone, through its unique mechanism of action, to simultaneously target multiple disease–causing biological processes while maintaining a well described safety profile "" leading to a new way to treat chronic disease.

Cardiology:

In February 2020, apabetalone became the first therapy of its kind to receive Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "" for a major cardiovascular indication "" following the ground–breaking findings from the BETonMACE Phase Three study. Data from BETonMACE showed apabetalone can potentially prevent major adverse cardiac events among high–risk cardiovascular disease patients who also have type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Covid–19:

On March 23, 2020, Resverlogix launched its COVID–19 program, enlisting world–renowned collaborators. Studies demonstrate that apabetalone has the potential to act against COVID–19 with a unique dual–mechanism: the first pillar of apabetalone's dual–mechanism is preventing viruses from entering the cells and replicating; the second pillar is averting runaway inflammatory reactions that can cause severe and lasting organ damage. A Phase 2 clinical trial is evaluating apabetalone in combination with standard of care for patients hospitalized with COVID–19. Apabetalone treatment could potentially reduce the severity and duration of COVID–19. Apabetalone's unique dual–mechanism also means that it is likely to show efficacy against COVID–19 variants and may even help fight other related viruses.

Apabetalone is the only drug of its class with a well–established safety record in human clinical trials, with well over 4200 patient–years on drug across 10 clinical trials.

About Resverlogix

Founded in 2001, Resverlogix is a Calgary based late–stage biotechnology company and the world leader in epigenetics, or gene regulation, with the goal of developing first–in–class therapies for the benefit of patients with chronic disease.

Resverlogix is commercializing a new class of epigenetic therapies designed to regulate gene expression, turning disease–associated genes "on" or "off". We aim to improve patients' lives by restoring biological functions "" altered by serious illnesses such as cardiovascular disease "" back to a healthier state.

The Company's clinical program is focused on evaluating the lead epigenetic candidate apabetalone for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and associated comorbidities, and COVID–19.

Resverlogix common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:RVX).

Follow us: Twitter: @Resverlogix_RVX.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/resverlogix–corp–/

For further information please contact:

Investor Relations
Email: ir@resverlogix.com
Phone: 403–254–9252
www.resverlogix.com

Forward Looking Statements:

This news release may contain certain forward–looking information as defined under applicable Canadian securities legislation, that are not based on historical fact, including without limitation statements containing the words “believes”, “anticipates”, “plans”, “intends”, “will”, “should”, “expects”, “continue”, “estimate”, “forecasts” and other similar expressions. In particular, this news release includes forward looking information related to the Company's discussions with the Supreme Council of Arab–African Economy, the Company's clinical trials and the potential role of apabetalone in the treatment of patients with COVID–19 (and potentially other viruses), cardiovascular disease and associated comorbidities and other chronic diseases. Our actual results, events or developments could be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward–looking statements. We can give no assurance that any of the events or expectations will occur or be realized. By their nature, forward–looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions and risk factors including those discussed in our Annual Information Form and most recent MD&A which are incorporated herein by reference and are available through SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The forward–looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement and are made as of the date hereof. The Company disclaims any intention and has no obligation or responsibility, except as required by law, to update or revise any forward–looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Synchronoss Personal Cloud Solution Selected by Telkomsel to Bolster Digital Services Offering

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., Nov. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNCR), a global leader and innovator of cloud, messaging and digital solutions, today announced it would supply its personal cloud solution to Telkomsel, Indonesia's largest mobile operator. The addition of the Synchronoss Personal Cloud solution will give Telkomsel's subscribers the ability to back up and manage their valuable digital content, including photos and videos, from any device.

The white–label Synchronoss Personal Cloud solution""branded "Floudrive" and managed by Telkomsigma""will be made available to Telkomsel's 170 million subscribers as a premium feature. Subscribers will be able to choose between two different storage tiers and enjoy an initial free 30–day period. The solution gives subscribers a reliable and intuitive cloud storage experience, with the ability to backup and sync digital content, while also introducing advanced tagging and search capabilities.

"We are excited to be partnering with Synchronoss to integrate its personal cloud solutions into our consumer channel," said Tanto Suratno, Director of Business and Sales, Telkomsigma. "Having outgrown our existing personal cloud offering, now is the perfect time to embrace this opportunity and provide our subscribers with an advanced solution that meets their evolving needs. We look forward to enabling our customers to optimize and manage their precious digital content, and to protect and store it safely and securely. As well as benefiting our customers, this partnership also represents the next step as we move towards offering more digital services."

The solution will be delivered through Synchronoss' agreement with Telkomsigma, the IT Services and Data Center arm of Telkomsel and Telkomsigma's parent company, Telkom Indonesia. Unlike other cloud solutions on the market, the Synchronoss–powered personal cloud allows subscriber data to be stored in–country, a critical requirement for Telkomsel to adhere to Indonesian law.

Anthony Socci, President and General Manager, APAC for Synchronoss, said he is delighted to be working with Telkomsel on its new cloud offering. "As a private cloud solution provider, we are always looking for ways to support telecom partners in their mission to deliver more varied and advanced digital services to their subscribers. This cloud solution will be instrumental to Telkomsel as it facilitates a more integrated experience and promotes a safer handling of personal assets," he said. "This deal builds on the success we have already experienced with Telkomsigma that impressed and inspired Telkomsel to deliver similar offerings to their mobile subscribers. It will also create greater synergies between the two organizations within the group."

To learn more about Synchronoss cloud solutions, visit synchronoss.com/solutions/cloud.

About Synchronoss
Synchronoss Technologies (NASDAQ: SNCR) builds software that empowers companies around the world to connect with their subscribers in trusted and meaningful ways. The company's collection of products helps streamline networks, simplify onboarding, and engage subscribers to unleash new revenue streams, reduce costs and increase speed to market. Hundreds of millions of subscribers trust Synchronoss products to stay in sync with the people, services and content they love. That's why more than 1,500 talented Synchronoss employees worldwide strive each day to reimagine a world in sync. Learn more at www.synchronoss.com.

Media Contacts

For Synchronoss:
Anais Merlin,
CCgroup,
E: synchronoss@ccgrouppr.com

Investor Contact
For Synchronoss: Todd Kehrli/Joo–Hun Kim, MKR Investor Relations, Inc., E: investor@synchronoss.com


Bombardier Celebrates Graduation of First Cohort of Red Oak, Texas-based Apprentices in Comprehensive Training Program

  • Department of Labor (DOL) nationally accredited apprenticeship program allows Bombardier to attract talented individuals from across the U.S. to grow dedicated talent pool in Red Oak
  • Graduates of the program offered full–time employment to support development of Global 7500 advanced smooth flex wing at Red Oak facility
  • Program fuels local grassroots aerospace pipeline

RED OAK, Texas, Nov. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bombardier today announced the graduation of 10 participants from its first cohort of apprentices enrolled in its comprehensive apprenticeship training program developed in association with Texas State Technical College (TSTC) in Red Oak, Texas. With the successful completion of the training program, graduates are offered full–time employment at Bombardier's Red Oak facility as an aircraft assembler or aerostructures apprentice to work on the Global 7500 business jet's advanced smooth flex wing.

The two–year Department of Labor (DOL) accredited Bombardier Aerospace Apprenticeship Program (BAAP), launched in December 2019, offers students the opportunity to enter the high–tech aerospace sector with no specific pre–requisites. It challenges them to present a winning attitude and develop mechanical dexterity and sound logic skills to pass an entry–level aptitude test. In turn, Bombardier and TSTC offer expert training in conjunction with TSTC's excellent facilities, allowing students to benefit at no cost from industry–tailored modules, experienced instructors, tools and equipment and financial support. Since its inception, some 80–plus individuals are currently being trained in the program. Bombardier and TSTC plan to recruit more than 50 individuals into the program over the next two years.

"I am thrilled to celebrate the successful graduation of the women and men in the BAAP program who will now transition forward in new careers at Bombardier, helping to ramp up the development of Bombardier's Global 7500 program," said Paul Sislian, Executive Vice President, Operations and Operational Excellence, Bombardier. "The accomplishments of these talented individuals aptly underscore the importance of fueling the aerospace pipeline in our Red Oak facility, bringing world–class training opportunities and cementing Bombardier as a key pillar of the community. It's a wonderful way for Bombardier to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week in the U.S."

The apprenticeship program offers a unique blend of practical and on–the–job training with theoretical, in–class learning. Educational topics covered include the introduction of health, safety and quality best practices, as well as aircraft drawing and specification comprehension, manufacturing appreciation of standard and regulatory compliances of aircraft assembly and more.

The Global 7500 jet is the flagship of the Bombardier business aircraft fleet, and it has won numerous awards for its innovative design. The Global 7500 aircraft's advanced smooth flex wing design features sophisticated slats and flap system that maximizes aerodynamic efficiency and performance for improved safety and an exceptionally smooth ride.

About Texas State Technical College
TSTC was established 50 years ago to help create a strong Texas. It is efficiently and effectively helping Texas meet the high–tech challenges of today's global economy, in partnership with business and industry, government agencies and other educational institutions. TSTC graduates are highly valued by business and industry for their work ethics, knowledge and workplace skills.

About Bombardier
Bombardier is a global leader in aviation, creating innovative and game–changing planes. Our products and services provide world–class experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montral, Canada, Bombardier is present in more than 12 countries including its production/engineering sites and its customer support network. The Corporation supports a worldwide fleet of over 4,900 aircraft in service with a wide variety of multinational corporations, charter and fractional ownership providers, governments and private individuals.

News and information is available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.
Visit the Bombardier Business Aircraft website for more information on our industry–leading products and services.

Bombardier, Global and Global 7500 are registered or unregistered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

For information
Matthew Nicholls
Bombardier
+1 514–243–8214
Matthew.Nicholls@aero.bombardier.com


Bombardier Names Nick W. Verdea Recipient of 2021 Safety Standdown Award

  • A long–time Safety Standdown supporter, Verdea has demonstrated exceptional safety leadership throughout his 25–year aviation career
  • Influential award recognizes exceptional efforts to improve aviation safety throughout the industry
  • Bombardier's Safety Standdown celebrating 25 years of aviation safety stewardship and education

MONTREAL, Nov. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nick W. Verdea, a Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) and Global Leadership Professional (GLP), has been named the 2021 winner of the Bombardier Safety Standdown Award, as selected by the Safety Standdown Advisory Council members. Verdea, Director of Aviation and Corporate Travel for The Williams Company in Tulsa, OK., is a long–time supporter and advocate of this highly influential event.

Verdea accepted the award on November 3, 2021, during the 25th annual Bombardier Safety Standdown event in Wichita, KS. The two–day, in–person safety gathering brought industry professionals together for enhanced learning opportunities, compelling workshops, presentations and more, laying the foundation for safety training and professional development. For a quarter of a century, Bombardier has led the industry in providing aviation professionals with critical knowledge–based aviation training and lifelong professional development opportunities.

The Bombardier Safety Standdown Award is presented annually to an aviation professional who has demonstrated exemplary dedication to improving aviation safety through the Safety Standdown principles of Learn, Apply, Share. Verdea was nominated for his leadership in aviation safety management over the course of his 25–year aviation career by Richard Westmoreland, Director of Aviation for First Horizon. At The Williams Company, Verdea oversees the daily operations and priorities of a high–performing team of 13 that operates corporate aircraft. A major part of his responsibilities is to execute and expertly manage the annual travel services budget with a compliance concentration on travel experience and cost containment. Verdea's commitment to safety excellence is admirable and this is clearly reflected in his many leadership roles over his career. He is a dedicated life–long learner and has an impeccable flying record of more than 13,000 accident–free hours in the cockpit.

"On behalf of Bombardier, I wish to congratulate Nick Verdea for his outstanding career and unwavering commitment to Safety Standdown and to promoting aviation safety and professionalism at all levels of our industry for a quarter of a century," said longtime Bombardier executive, Andy Nureddin, who stewards the Safety Standdown program. "Nick embodies precisely what the Safety Standdown Award stands for: celebrating individuals who are role models in the field and have made a real difference day–to–day. He is the ideal ambassador for our Safety Standdown mission."

Bombardier's Safety Standdown is one of the most comprehensive safety conferences in the industry. This year's in–person event celebrated 25 years of safety stewardship and this year's theme, "Learn, Apply, Share" reminds aviation professionals and organizations to learn new skills, apply them and share their knowledge to make an impact as a role model.

About Safety Standdown
Conceived in 1996 as a human factors safety–training event for the Learjet flight demonstration team, the conference quickly garnered a reputation for excellence beyond Bombardier's customer base. In 1999, in response to growing interest within the industry, Bombardier opened the seminar to all pilots. In 2010, Safety Standdown expanded beyond the seminars into a year–round global human factors program offering online resources. Since 1996, more than 10,000 corporate, commercial and military aviation professionals have attended Safety Standdown seminars around the world, live and through the webcast, including in Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico, Switzerland and the USA.

About Bombardier
Bombardier is a global leader in aviation, creating innovative and game–changing planes. Our products and services provide world–class experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montral, Canada, Bombardier is present in more than 12 countries including its production/engineering sites and its customer support network. The Corporation supports a worldwide fleet of over 4,900 aircraft in service with a wide variety of multinational corporations, charter and fractional ownership providers, governments and private individuals.

News and information is available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

Visit the Bombardier Business Aircraft website for more information on our industry–leading products and services.

Bombardier and Learjet are registered or unregistered trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

For information
Matthew Nicholls
Bombardier
+1 514–243–8214
Matthew.Nicholls@aero.bombardier.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5720955a–d603–48bb–8597–9964e5b499e2


In Glasgow, Indigenous People Pound the Table for Their Rights

In the face of substantial international offers of funding for indigenous lands and forests at COP26, indigenous peoples are calling for specific schemes for their participation. Shuar leader Katan Kontiak (left) of Ecuador and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim of Chad took part in a Nov. 2 forum on the indigenous peoples and local communities platform. CREDIT: Emilio Godoy/IPS

By Emilio Godoy
GLASGOW, Nov 4 2021 – “For my people, the effects of climate change are an everyday reality. The rainy season is shorter and when it rains, there are floods. And we’ve suffered droughts.” said Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, a member of the Wodaabe or Mbororo pastoral people of Chad.

For the founder of the non-governmental Association of Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad, one pernicious effect is the violence generated, because “When people lose their resources, they fight for them, water, for instance,” she told IPS after a forum on the progress made by native groups at the climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

Around the world, indigenous peoples face the ambiguity of protecting ecosystems, such as forests or coastal zones, while at the same time suffering the onslaught of climate fury unleashed by humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels, like droughts, destructive storms and rising sea levels.

For decades, native peoples have insisted that their traditional knowledge can contribute to the fight against climate change. The emergence of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 reaffirmed the results of treating nature as just another commodity.

Although in the last decade, indigenous representatives have gained a place at environmental summits, such as the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which began on Sunday Oct. 31 in this city in the UK, now they want to be more than just token participants.

“We hope that the summit takes indigenous communities into account. We need funds that go directly to indigenous peoples,” Graciela Coy, an indigenous woman from Ak’Tenamit (our people, in the Q’eqchi’ language), a non-governmental organisation that works in northern Guatemala, told IPS.

Representatives of indigenous organisations have gained a place in every part of the COP. They participate as observers in the official sessions where the agreements are debated, in the parallel summit of social movements and in all the other forums held during the two weeks of the climate conference.

One of the expectations this year among indigenous people is the approval of the three-year working plan of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform that emerged at COP21, which approved the Paris Agreement in 2015.

The proposal must be approved by the Facilitative Working Group, composed of seven indigenous and seven government representatives and endorsed at COP24, held in the Polish city of Katowice in 2018. It must then be ratified by the plenary of the 196 Parties to the COP and is to include capacity building activities for indigenous groups, the mapping of measures for their participation in the UNFCCC and financing.

Between 2019 and 2021, the group conducted 11 activities, with no physical sessions due to the pandemic.

Climate policies are the focus of COP26, which ends Nov. 12, after being postponed for a year as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

Government delegates at COP26 are addressing carbon market rules, climate finance of at least 100 billion dollars per year, gaps between emission reduction targets and necessary reductions, strategies for carbon neutrality by 2050, adaptation plans and the working programme for the local communities and indigenous peoples platform.

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, an indigenous activist from the Kankana-ey Igorot people of the Philippines, said the inclusion of human rights in the financing of emission reductions and adaptation to the effects of the climate crisis, as well as in the creation of carbon markets, is fundamental.

“Indigenous peoples suffer too the climate solutions, such as renewable energy projects. There should be effective safeguards, for guaranteeing indigenous peoples’ human rights” in climate policies, the former U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples between 2014 and 2020 told IPS.

This respect has become urgent in areas such as the Amazon, the main jungle in Latin America shared by eight countries and a French territory, whose indigenous inhabitants have suffered the deterioration caused by the inroads made by agribusiness, livestock, soybean, hydrocarbon and mining companies, as well as the construction of dams, railroads, highways and river ports.

For this reason, Tuntiak Katan, a member of the indigenous Shuar people of Ecuador and general coordinator of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (GATC), told IPS that the removal of extractive activities from this ecosystem is a fundamental condition for making progress in protection of the climate.

“Indigenous peoples already protect 950 million hectares of land worldwide. What we are asking for is the protection of 80 percent of the Amazon by 2025. We are the voice of the women, children and elders” who suffer the impacts on the territories, said Katan, vice-coordinator of the non-governmental Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon River Basin (Coica).

The most recent scientific evidence shows that native peoples are the most effective protectors of tropical forests, which is why greater efforts are required for their conservation in the face of growing threats.

Q'eqchí' indigenous activist Graciela Coy (R) from Guatemala called during the Glasgow climate summit for the promised international funds to go directly to indigenous peoples. CREDIT: Emilio Godoy/IPS

Q’eqchí’ indigenous activist Graciela Coy (R) from Guatemala called during the Glasgow climate summit for the promised international funds to go directly to indigenous peoples. CREDIT: Emilio Godoy/IPS

More than empty promises

In the face of the abundant offers made during the first week of COP26 activities to promote indigenous land tenure and reforestation, indigenous peoples were skeptical and demanded direct participation in these schemes.

Oumarou Ibrahim and Coy agreed on the need to define mechanisms to ensure that the resources provided reach the territories directly.

“World leaders should be our partners. Financing should be adapted to people’s needs. The issue is how resources are going to reach directly to the indigenous peoples,” said Oumarou Ibrahim.

In Coy’s opinion, the fight against climate change requires the allocation of funds, which should be transferred “to indigenous peoples, as there is a lot of international aid” that does not always materialise in local communities.

In an acceptance of what native peoples have been demanding for years, the governments of Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and 17 private funders announced on Nov. 1 the provision of 1.7 billion dollars to help indigenous and local communities preserve tropical forests between 2021 and 2025.

It is estimated that each year only 270 million dollars are allocated to forest care and just 46 million dollars go to the direct guardians of the forest: their ancestral inhabitants.

Direct multilateral funding to aboriginal populations has been a recurring barrier to efforts to protect natural resources.

For example, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), created at COP16 in Cancun in 2010, has financed 121 community livelihood projects and delivered a total of 1.4 billion dollars.

For a total of 190 projects, it has disbursed two billion dollars and another six billion are in the pipeline. In addition, it has committed another 10 billion for projects. It has also registered 113 institutions to receive funds, but none of them are indigenous.

Furthermore, on Nov. 2, more than 105 nations signed up to the “Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use” which sets the target of zero deforestation by 2030.

Indigenous peoples are also demanding to be included in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), the voluntary commitments adopted by each country for 2030 and 2050 in order to comply with the Paris Agreement and on which the goal of containing global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is based.

“We just need a push,” said Katan. “We are sure of what we do and that is why it is good that they are offering financing. But what needs to be done is to abandon extractivism and get the oil, mining and agribusiness companies out of our territories, and apply a holistic vision, combined with the vision of the indigenous peoples.”

Even if COP26 does not produce the results desired by indigenous peoples, they will continue to care for natural resources and to demand climate justice.

IPS produced this article with the support of Iniciativa Climática in Mexico and the European Climate Foundation.

Sustainability necessary for the hotel industry

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Barrows, the provider of hotel investment and advisory services for hotels in the Middle East and Africa is investing heavily in making the hotel industry more sustainable.

A location where many people come together are hotels and hotel resorts. It is not without reason that the hotel industry is known as a major consumer of energy and consumption of food and drinks. But also consider, for example, the disposal of waste. There is still a lot to gain and improve in the hotel industry. Barrows Hotel Enterprises focuses on making the industry more sustainable and takes this into account in the choice for construction and hotel operator.

Employees and hotel guests have an important role in sustainability. New processes are used by them every day. The social responsibility of the hotel operator is increasing and that is necessary according to Chairman Erwin Jager of Barrows Hotel Enterprises.

Hotel operators and investors fully support making the industry more sustainable. It's necessary, because one of the main drivers is the increased attention from the global society. “The hotel guest really pays attention to the sustainability of the hotels and we see that when they make a choice for the hotel booking,” said Erwin Jager of Barrows.

Hotel guests are also increasingly willing to pay more for the room and facilities if this benefits a more sustainable stay. The investment will therefore be able to be repaid sooner than was previously the case.

As a Hospitality Professional, we are closely involved in the triangle between developer, investor and hotel operator. We have developed a sustainable strategy that is easy to implement during the construction phase and that benefits the operational processes of the hotel operator. We really add value with these improvements even if the location is in Africa, Middle East or Asia.

Without a hotel operator there is no business model and therefore no cash flow. By focusing on sustainable elements that creates the link between building and company during the first phase, the company is much better able to meet the requirements of hotel guests when it comes to sustainable business processes.

“The use of an international quality mark therefore can give an enormous boost to the quality mark of the hotels and their management. Hotel guests really opt for this and are prepared to pay a higher room rate or an additional service charge”, said Erwin Jager of Barrows.

Barrows Hotel Enterprises internationally manages more than 10,000 hotel rooms in more than 10 countries. The company started in 2008 as a real estate investor in the residential market in Dubai. Since 2012, Barrows has changed its strategy and the company is fully focused on the fast–growing hotel industry in the Middle East and Africa.

For more information
media@barrowshotels.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/1d802a33–b156–48f6–92c3–e5d72ed87f41


Vaccitech Announces Publication of Second Phase 1 Clinical Trial Results of ChAdOx1 Vaccine in Development for the MERS Coronavirus

The Phase 1 clinical trial was conducted by The King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre (KAIMRC), in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), in partnership with the University of Oxford. Vaccitech retains commercial rights to this vaccine.

The ChAdOx1 MERS vaccine candidate was generally well tolerated and induced both humoral and cellular immune responses, which continued through the six–month follow–up period.

Study published online in The Lancet Microbe (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666–5247(21)00193–2/fulltext).

OXFORD, United Kingdom, Nov. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vaccitech plc (NASDAQ: VACC), a clinical–stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases and cancer, today announced the publication in The Lancet Microbe of the first Phase 1 clinical trial conducted in the Middle East evaluating the safety and tolerability of the ChAdOx1 MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) vaccine candidate. The study builds on the first Phase 1 clinical trial of ChAdOx1 MERS conducted in the United Kingdom and published in Lancet ID last year.

The Phase 1 trial is part of a collaboration between the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute and the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC). It is the first vaccine clinical trial to be conducted within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vaccitech retains commercial rights to the vaccine.

"The high fatality rate of diagnosed MERS–CoV makes it one of the most dangerous coronaviruses communicable between humans," says Naif Alharbi, KAIMRC, DPhil, vaccinologist and co–principal investigator on the MERS vaccine trial. "Research into robust preventative measures for a virus with pandemic potential is a global health imperative. The completion of our trial is the latest achievement for KAIMRC's world–leading MERS research and supports advancing the ChAdOx1 MERS vaccine candidate into its next phase of development. This multi–partner experience has also set the stage for more MERS vaccine clinical development in KSA, improving both research and regulatory expertise."

Dame Sarah Gilbert Ph.D., co–founder of Vaccitech said, "This was the first phase I trial of any vaccine conducted in KSA, and it is fitting that it was a trial of a vaccine against MERS. The results provide further evidence on the tolerability and immunogenicity profile of this vaccine candidate and pave the way for its further development."

Tom Evans, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Vaccitech added, "These important trial results, collected by scientists at the Jenner and KAIMRC, have the potential to progress us toward a much–needed vaccine for MERS. Their publication also builds on the already extensive dataset which supports our ChAdOx platform for prophylactic, pandemic preparedness, and therapeutic uses."

Twenty–four healthy adult volunteers aged 18 to 50 years received one of three single doses of ChAdOx1 MERS (at dose levels of 5 x 109 viral particles (VP), 2.5 x 1010 VP and 5 x 1010 VP). The primary objective was to assess safety and tolerability. Secondary objectives included evaluation of cellular and humoral immunogenicity from baseline through six months. The trial showed that ChAdOx1 MERS was generally well tolerated with most adverse events either mild or moderate. The most common adverse event was headache (58% of volunteers) followed by muscle pain (54%). The vaccine candidate induced robust antibody and T cell immune responses in all volunteers. Antibodies peaked at day 28 and T cell responses peaked at day 14, both of which were maintained until the end of follow–up at six months. The results of the study support advancing the vaccine candidate into Phase 2 development.

There have been more than 2,500 cases of MERS reported globally to the World Health Organization (WHO), including 886 deaths. The MERS case fatality rate is 34%, an order of magnitude greater than the rate reported for the COVID–19 coronavirus, SARS–CoV–2. The WHO lists MERS–CoV as a priority pathogen for vaccine development due to its threat to global health security.

Notes to editors:

About the trial and KAIMRC

The trial took place at King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) and King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC). Both are part of the Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs (Saudi NGHA). KAMC in Riyadh has been recognised as a distinguished healthcare provider in Saudi Arabia and the region, with a bed capacity of 1501, and commenced its operations in May 1983. Since then, it has continued expanding, while providing services for a rapidly growing patient population in all of its catchment areas. Recently KAIMRC and KAMC have received approval for a Phase 1 clinical trial unit from the national regulator (Saudi FDA).

About MERS

First identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, MERS is a viral respiratory illness caused by the highly pathogenic MERS coronavirus (MERS–CoV). MERS–CoV is likely a zoonotic bat virus, with the dromedary camel implicated as the major animal host for spread to humans. Human to human transmission via droplets and contact can occur, especially in nosocomial settings, which lack robust infection control practices. MERS–CoV leads to severe disease of the lower respiratory tract, with a high symptomatic case fatality rate of ~34%. More than 2,500 cases of MERS have now been reported from 27 countries, including 12 Eastern Mediterranean countries. Globally, as of June 2021, MERS has now been responsible for 886 deaths with eight new cases of MERS reported from January 1, 2021, to May 3, 2021, in Saudi Arabia and UAE.

About Vaccitech plc

Vaccitech is a clinical–stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases and cancer. The company's proprietary platform comprises proprietary modified simian adenoviral vectors, known as ChAdOx1 and ChAdOx2, as well as the well–validated Modified Vaccinia Ankara, or MVA, boost vector, both with demonstrable tolerability profiles and without the ability to replicate in humans. The combination of a ChAdOx prime treatment with subsequent MVA boost has consistently generated significantly higher magnitudes of CD8+ T cells compared with other technologies and approaches. The company has a broad pipeline of both clinical and preclinical stage therapeutic programs in solid tumors and viral infections and prophylactic viral vaccine programs. Vaccitech co–invented a COVID–19 vaccine with the University of Oxford, now approved for use in many territories and exclusively licensed worldwide to AstraZeneca through Oxford University Innovation, or OUI. Vaccitech is entitled to receive a share of the milestones and royalty income received by OUI from AstraZeneca.

Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward–looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including, without limitation, express or implied statements regarding: the Company's business plans and objectives, including the timing and advancement of the Company's programs, such as the clinical trial of ChAdOx1 MERS (VTP–500) and the continued development of ChAdOx1 MERS, the potential therapeutic effects and expected patient population of ChAdOx1 MERS and the Company's use of capital, expenses and other financial results. The words "may," "will," "could," "would," "should," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "intend," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "project," "potential," "continue" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward–looking statements, although not all forward–looking statements contain these identifying words. Any forward–looking statements in this press release are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and important factors that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward–looking statements contained in this press release, including, without limitation: the success, cost and timing of the Company's product development activities and planned and ongoing clinical trials, the Company's ability to execute on its strategy, regulatory developments, the Company's ability to fund its operations and the impact that the current COVID–19 pandemic will have on the Company's clinical trials and preclinical studies and other risks identified in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including its Quarterly Report on Form 10–Q for the first quarter of 2021 and subsequent filings with the SEC. The Company cautions you not to place undue reliance on any forward–looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any such statements to reflect any change in expectations or in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements may be based, or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those set forth in the forward–looking statements.

Media contacts:

Katja Stout, Scius Communications (EU)
Direct: +44 (0) 7789435990
Email: katja@sciuscommunications.com

Robert Flamm, Ph.D. / Harrison Wong (US)
Burns McClellan, Inc.
212–213–0006 ext. 364 / 316
Email: rflamm@burnsmc.com / hwong@burnsmc.com

Henry Hodge, Vaccitech
Email: henry.hodge@vaccitech.co.uk


Vaccitech Announces Publication of Second Phase 1 Clinical Trial Results of ChAdOx1 Vaccine in Development for the MERS Coronavirus

The Phase 1 clinical trial was conducted by The King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre (KAIMRC), in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), in partnership with the University of Oxford. Vaccitech retains commercial rights to this vaccine.

The ChAdOx1 MERS vaccine candidate was generally well tolerated and induced both humoral and cellular immune responses, which continued through the six–month follow–up period.

Study published online in The Lancet Microbe (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666–5247(21)00193–2/fulltext).

OXFORD, United Kingdom, Nov. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vaccitech plc (NASDAQ: VACC), a clinical–stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases and cancer, today announced the publication in The Lancet Microbe of the first Phase 1 clinical trial conducted in the Middle East evaluating the safety and tolerability of the ChAdOx1 MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) vaccine candidate. The study builds on the first Phase 1 clinical trial of ChAdOx1 MERS conducted in the United Kingdom and published in Lancet ID last year.

The Phase 1 trial is part of a collaboration between the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute and the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC). It is the first vaccine clinical trial to be conducted within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vaccitech retains commercial rights to the vaccine.

"The high fatality rate of diagnosed MERS–CoV makes it one of the most dangerous coronaviruses communicable between humans," says Naif Alharbi, KAIMRC, DPhil, vaccinologist and co–principal investigator on the MERS vaccine trial. "Research into robust preventative measures for a virus with pandemic potential is a global health imperative. The completion of our trial is the latest achievement for KAIMRC's world–leading MERS research and supports advancing the ChAdOx1 MERS vaccine candidate into its next phase of development. This multi–partner experience has also set the stage for more MERS vaccine clinical development in KSA, improving both research and regulatory expertise."

Dame Sarah Gilbert Ph.D., co–founder of Vaccitech said, "This was the first phase I trial of any vaccine conducted in KSA, and it is fitting that it was a trial of a vaccine against MERS. The results provide further evidence on the tolerability and immunogenicity profile of this vaccine candidate and pave the way for its further development."

Tom Evans, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Vaccitech added, "These important trial results, collected by scientists at the Jenner and KAIMRC, have the potential to progress us toward a much–needed vaccine for MERS. Their publication also builds on the already extensive dataset which supports our ChAdOx platform for prophylactic, pandemic preparedness, and therapeutic uses."

Twenty–four healthy adult volunteers aged 18 to 50 years received one of three single doses of ChAdOx1 MERS (at dose levels of 5 x 109 viral particles (VP), 2.5 x 1010 VP and 5 x 1010 VP). The primary objective was to assess safety and tolerability. Secondary objectives included evaluation of cellular and humoral immunogenicity from baseline through six months. The trial showed that ChAdOx1 MERS was generally well tolerated with most adverse events either mild or moderate. The most common adverse event was headache (58% of volunteers) followed by muscle pain (54%). The vaccine candidate induced robust antibody and T cell immune responses in all volunteers. Antibodies peaked at day 28 and T cell responses peaked at day 14, both of which were maintained until the end of follow–up at six months. The results of the study support advancing the vaccine candidate into Phase 2 development.

There have been more than 2,500 cases of MERS reported globally to the World Health Organization (WHO), including 886 deaths. The MERS case fatality rate is 34%, an order of magnitude greater than the rate reported for the COVID–19 coronavirus, SARS–CoV–2. The WHO lists MERS–CoV as a priority pathogen for vaccine development due to its threat to global health security.

Notes to editors:

About the trial and KAIMRC

The trial took place at King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) and King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC). Both are part of the Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs (Saudi NGHA). KAMC in Riyadh has been recognised as a distinguished healthcare provider in Saudi Arabia and the region, with a bed capacity of 1501, and commenced its operations in May 1983. Since then, it has continued expanding, while providing services for a rapidly growing patient population in all of its catchment areas. Recently KAIMRC and KAMC have received approval for a Phase 1 clinical trial unit from the national regulator (Saudi FDA).

About MERS

First identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia, MERS is a viral respiratory illness caused by the highly pathogenic MERS coronavirus (MERS–CoV). MERS–CoV is likely a zoonotic bat virus, with the dromedary camel implicated as the major animal host for spread to humans. Human to human transmission via droplets and contact can occur, especially in nosocomial settings, which lack robust infection control practices. MERS–CoV leads to severe disease of the lower respiratory tract, with a high symptomatic case fatality rate of ~34%. More than 2,500 cases of MERS have now been reported from 27 countries, including 12 Eastern Mediterranean countries. Globally, as of June 2021, MERS has now been responsible for 886 deaths with eight new cases of MERS reported from January 1, 2021, to May 3, 2021, in Saudi Arabia and UAE.

About Vaccitech plc

Vaccitech is a clinical–stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases and cancer. The company's proprietary platform comprises proprietary modified simian adenoviral vectors, known as ChAdOx1 and ChAdOx2, as well as the well–validated Modified Vaccinia Ankara, or MVA, boost vector, both with demonstrable tolerability profiles and without the ability to replicate in humans. The combination of a ChAdOx prime treatment with subsequent MVA boost has consistently generated significantly higher magnitudes of CD8+ T cells compared with other technologies and approaches. The company has a broad pipeline of both clinical and preclinical stage therapeutic programs in solid tumors and viral infections and prophylactic viral vaccine programs. Vaccitech co–invented a COVID–19 vaccine with the University of Oxford, now approved for use in many territories and exclusively licensed worldwide to AstraZeneca through Oxford University Innovation, or OUI. Vaccitech is entitled to receive a share of the milestones and royalty income received by OUI from AstraZeneca.

Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward–looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including, without limitation, express or implied statements regarding: the Company's business plans and objectives, including the timing and advancement of the Company's programs, such as the clinical trial of ChAdOx1 MERS (VTP–500) and the continued development of ChAdOx1 MERS, the potential therapeutic effects and expected patient population of ChAdOx1 MERS and the Company's use of capital, expenses and other financial results. The words "may," "will," "could," "would," "should," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "intend," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "project," "potential," "continue" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward–looking statements, although not all forward–looking statements contain these identifying words. Any forward–looking statements in this press release are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and important factors that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward–looking statements contained in this press release, including, without limitation: the success, cost and timing of the Company's product development activities and planned and ongoing clinical trials, the Company's ability to execute on its strategy, regulatory developments, the Company's ability to fund its operations and the impact that the current COVID–19 pandemic will have on the Company's clinical trials and preclinical studies and other risks identified in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including its Quarterly Report on Form 10–Q for the first quarter of 2021 and subsequent filings with the SEC. The Company cautions you not to place undue reliance on any forward–looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any such statements to reflect any change in expectations or in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements may be based, or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those set forth in the forward–looking statements.

Media contacts:

Katja Stout, Scius Communications (EU)
Direct: +44 (0) 7789435990
Email: katja@sciuscommunications.com

Robert Flamm, Ph.D. / Harrison Wong (US)
Burns McClellan, Inc.
212–213–0006 ext. 364 / 316
Email: rflamm@burnsmc.com / hwong@burnsmc.com

Henry Hodge, Vaccitech
Email: henry.hodge@vaccitech.co.uk


COP26: Combined Exclusive Maritime Zone for Africa to Combat Illegal, Unreported & Unregulated Fishing

Illegal fishing is not just about stealing livelihood; it is about forcing someone into crime. Coast Guard interdicts lancha crews illegally fishing in US waters. Credit: Creative Commons

By Geetika Chandwani and Purnaka L. de Silva
NEW YORK, Nov 4 2021 – “Working together means we widen the number of like-minded actors towards a common good” –Dr. Azza Karam, Secretary-General of Religions for Peace International.

As global leaders and civil society actors participate in COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is a significant problem that must be tackled.

In this regard, collaboration among the 55 member states of the African Union (AU) is crucial to successfully accomplishing a common goal to combat the problem of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the African continent’s coastal waters – overcoming a raft of complex and politically sensitive issues.

IUU fishing is an unprecedented problem in the time of climate change that decimates the livelihoods of local fishing communities. The AU must demonstrate strong leadership and present a united front for such collaboration to work, so that the establishment of the proposed Combined Exclusive Maritime Zone for Africa (CEMZA) can achieve impactful results and not be just a paper tiger.

African voices and indigenous expertise in producing scientific knowledge and policies have been marginalized since colonial times including vis-à-vis marine fisheries.

Africa continues to be at a disadvantage on account of the historical processes through which individual countries were integrated into the world’s economic and financial system – often driven by former colonizing powers – e.g., France, U.K.

Therefore, the needs and concerns of local African fishing communities were historically unseen and unheard in national and international deliberations over fisheries. The “new” scramble for African resources, brought a new player to the fore, namely the People’s Republic of China – triggering rapid expansion of Chinese investments, trade, development cooperation and loans aimed at exploiting Africa’s resources.

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing predominantly by Chinese, and European trawlers, endanger marine ecosystems, biodiversity, food security, and thus the survival of local African fishing communities. IUU fishing affects those countries that cannot effectively monitor and control their maritime waters and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).

An increasing number of organizations are exploring AI, data analytics, and blockchain to combat the threat of IUU fishing – as noted by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (2020) in “How Data and Technology Can Help Address Corruption in IUU fishing” – https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/tnrc-blog-how-data-and-technology-can-help-address-corruption-in-iuu-fishing.

The arrangements in place are often abused and thus fall short in fighting the impediment of IUU fishing. It is to tackle these significant problems at the operational level that Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy proposes to establish the Combined Exclusive Maritime Zone for Africa (CEMZA) – as noted by Vishal Surbun (February 2021) in “Africa’s combined exclusive maritime zone concept” in Institute for Security Studies, Africa Report 32 – https://issafrica.org/research/africa-report/africas-combined-exclusive-maritime-zone-concept.

CEMZA is a future project that remains on paper only for the time being, which needs to be implemented in full to facilitate economic and security benefits for target African countries.

A consequence of the inability of individual African states to maintain law and order, to varying degrees, opened the door to the possibility of some level of continental federalization in the form of CEMZA or combining other zones falling within the African Maritime Domain (AMD).

West Africa presents coastal countries where the problems are particularly felt. The area has attracted industrial fishing boats from all over the world, particularly from China, while controls have remained entirely inadequate in the last decade.

A series of non-transparent practices often make governmental checks and control difficult. Frequent changes of the shipowner, flag country, registration, low maintenance of databases, and navigation records represent a significant challenge for state authorities and non-governmental organizations (e.g., Sea Shepherd Global, Environmental Justice Foundation) concerned with fishing rights in Africa.

There are irregularities in the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the non-use or improper use of the satellite-based vessel monitoring system (VMS). On July 22, 2021, the Defense Innovation Unit and Global Fishing Watch, a non-profit that uses satellites to view global fishing activities, announced a new AI challenge to combat IUU fishing to tackle this transnational crime.

Likewise, an international program to track illegal fishing from space has been launched by the Canadian government – as noted by Rosie Frost (January 2021) in “What are illegal ‘dark vessels’ and why are satellites spying on them?” in Euronewshttps://www.euronews.com/green/2021/02/25/what-are-illegal-dark-vessels-and-why-are-satellites-spying-on-them. It can use environmental conditions, including the temperature of the water and chlorophyll levels, to work out where the fish will be.

With the fish comes the fishermen and fisherwomen who help narrow down the areas that governmental authorities need to fully concentrate on, thereby helping them locate, identify and interdict illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Such information must be shared with the central body of the combined EEZ not only to gather pieces of evidence but also to assist local fishing communities in earning their livelihood. The current focus on environmental concerns worldwide has drawn attention to the global crisis in fisheries and aquaculture, and the need to manage these industries in environmentally sustainable ways.

Indigenous communities have become vital partners to international climate, environmental and development missions seeking global sustainability. In many West African countries, fishing continues to be carried out through artisanal means often by poor fisherwomen.

An example is the wooden pirogues mainly in use in West Africa from Mauritania to Senegal, on which a crew composed of less than ten people usually embark and stays at sea for a few days. Canoes, gillnets, and handlines are used widely throughout Africa, while the use of indigenous industrial fishing vessels is still few, numerically.

The activities connected to the fisheries sector, characterized by high labor-intensity and low capital, employs millions of people throughout West Africa. In today’s world many people look to information and communications technology to go about their daily business. Fisherfolk in Africa also need access to technological solutions.

Having a combined EEZ and working with international partners and using technology enables them to maintain indigenous standards. Sustainable developments can be achieved only by working with local communities to create employment opportunities in an environment of trust.

In short, unity is needed for the survival of local fishing communities. Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) in Africa are shared by 33 coastal countries and 600 million people. Illegal fishing amounts to more than US $2 billion in lost profits annually – as noted by Vishal Surbun (February 2021) in “Africa’s combined exclusive maritime zone concept” in Institute for Security Studies, Africa Report 32 – https://issafrica.org/research/africa-report/africas-combined-exclusive-maritime-zone-concept.

On November 10, 2020, a new App was launched called DASE (which means “evidence” in the Fante dialect of Ghana) by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) – as noted by EJF Staff (November 10, 2020) in “New Phone App is Effective Weapon in Ghana’s Fight Against Illegal Fishing” in Environmental Justice Foundationhttps://ejfoundation.org/news-media/new-phone-app-is-effective-weapon-in-ghanas-fight-against-illegal-fishing.

Communities in Ghana and Liberia can use this to gather evidence against illegal vessels, mostly industrial trawlers under foreign flags. When a vessel is spotted illegally fishing or damaging canoes, the user takes a photo of the boat through the app with its name/identification number and records the geo-satellite position.

The app uploads the report to a central database where the government can use the evidence to catch and sanction the perpetrators. A similar app must be introduced in Ajami, an Arabic script, in West Africa. Ajami is a form of literacy that remains widespread across West Africa with little or no government support. In East Africa and the Horn of Africa Swahili should be used. The idea is to find a medium to connect with local peoples to combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Fishing is not simply a livelihood it is a culture and a way of life. Collaborative management and decision-making can help indigenous people maintain vocational skills and pride in their culture. Organizations are formed to promote peace, values, and well-being of citizens.

Coordinating efforts to restore the economy, manage risks and remove barriers helps reduce costs and create a larger market for local fishing communities. While there are several challenges mentioned in operationalizing the Combined Exclusive Maritime Zone for Africa (CEMZA) in terms of sovereignty and maritime rights, a more significant challenge is the food insecurity and poverty that arises from increased transnational organized crime, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing by countries like China.

In addition, there are environmental crimes, marine environmental degradation, disappearing biodiversity, and the dire effects of climate change and global warming. However, establishing CEMZA and using multiple technologies is absolutely, critical in developing and maintaining pan-African collaboration that brings about substantive change and protection for vulnerable local fishing communities. Africa needs CEMZA to be a tiger with teeth and claws.

Geetika Chandwani is finishing her M.A. at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, where Professor Purnaka L. de Silva lectures in the M.A. program.

 


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Zimbabwe’s High-Risk Cross-Border Trade

COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions meant that many informal sector traders lost their jobs. Not eligible for compensation, some have turned to sex work. Credit: Marko Phiri/IPS

By Marko Phiri
Bulawayo, ZIMBABWE , Nov 4 2021 – Thirty-six-year-old Thandiwe Mtshali* watched helplessly as her informal cross-border trading (ICBT) enterprise came to a grinding halt when the Zimbabwean authorities closed the border with South Africa as part of global efforts to stem the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus.

“That was last year, and I had no idea what to do next,” Mtshali told IPS.

Before the lockdown, she made up to four trips each month to Musina and Johannesburg in neighbouring South Africa to buy goods ranging from clothes to electrical appliances for resale in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city.

And by her account, the money was good.

“I could rent a full house in the suburbs, and my long term plans have always been to build my own home,” she said.

After months of being idle in Bulawayo, a colleague tipped her about what appeared to be an easy route out of her money troubles: truckers had not been banned from transporting goods between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

As truckers got stuck at the Beitbridge border post for weeks waiting to get their consignments processed by port authorities, it presented a new venture for informal cross-border traders such as Mtshali: sex work.

Today, Mtshali, who has two young children back in Bulawayo, rents a small shack in the border town where she “entertains” truckers and other men willing to pay for sex.

Commercial sex work is illegal in Zimbabwe, but COVID-19 has turned the sector into a necessity for many women who were made redundant by lockdown measures imposed by the government because of public health concerns.

“I do not want to do this, but it is better than sitting and waiting,” Mtshali said.

“My kids are with my mother, and all they know is that I am working in Beitbridge. As long as I send them money and groceries, they don’t need to know anything else,” she told IPS.

Local residents, however, complain that despite the lockdown restrictions that banned travel across cities, there appeared to be an influx of sex workers to the border town, each seeking to make a living.

“We have always had a problem here with sex workers, young and old competing for clients. But now we see even more after borders closed,” said Dumisani Tlou, a resident and taxi driver.

“Every tenant knows they can rent any available backroom to the women who entertain truckers and other illegal dealers, but no one seems to be doing anything about it,” he told IPS.

While the Zimbabwean authorities have made efforts to provide bailout stipends for informal traders, this has been criticised for being too little to improve the lives of millions on the fringes of official economic activity.

Many more, like Mtshali, missed out on the bailouts because they are not registered with any informal traders’ association.

“There is a need to consider special exemptions that will allow cross-border traders to import goods during the lockdown and border closures,” said Fadzai Nyamande-Pangeti, International Organisation for Migration – Zimbabwe spokesperson.

“It is also important for women cross-border traders to formalise their businesses, to make them less likely to be impacted by shocks caused by the pandemic,” she told IPS.

However, for many here at the border town, sex work comes with challenges.

While borders were closed in line with public health safety measures, this has exposed sex workers to concerns about HIV/Aids.

“These women have no social protection or insurance or any other mitigation measures to cushion them in times of disasters such as the current pandemic,” said Mary Mulenga, a representative of the Southern Africa Cross-border Traders Association (SACBTA).

In a submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Health ahead of the UN General Assembly in October, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (GNSWP), which brings together sex worker-led organisations across ninety-six countries, says, “during the pandemic, there has been a (global) drop in the availability of HIV treatment services due to the prioritisation of treating and stopping the spread of COVID-19.”

“As a result, sex workers living with HIV have experienced even greater challenges in accessing HIV treatments, further endangering their health and ability to work,” the network says in its brief to the UN.

Truckers have for years been identified as an HIV/Aids high-risk group in southern Africa, raising concerns among campaigners, such as the GNSWP, that while resources are being directed toward addressing the spread of COVID-19, both old and new entrants into the sex trade such as Mtshali are being left out.

According to the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM), informal cross-border trade accounts for up to 40 percent of southern Africa’s intra-trade estimated USD17 billion annually. Still, border closures have upended this due to COVID-19.

Despite these disruptions brought by the novel coronavirus, the once-thriving informal cross-border trade could present more public health concerns: an increase in those living with HIV/Aids.

In recent months, Zimbabwe’s First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa launched countrywide self-sufficiency projects for sex workers. Still, with the industry continuing to take in new entrants such as Mtshali, it could be a race against daunting odds as global health experts see no easy end to COVID-19.

  • The Pulitzer Centre supported this story.
  • Name changed to protect identity.