AscendEX Appoints Shane Molidor as New CEO

Singapore, June 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AscendEX, a global cryptocurrency financial platform, announced today that Shane Molidor has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. He succeeds the exchange's founding partner, George Cao, who will continue to support AscendEX as Chairman.

Shane Molidor joined AscendEX (Formerly BitMax) in May of 2019 as Head of Business Development and was promoted to Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) in December of 2021. Molidor has worked professionally in the cryptocurrency industry since 2015 at top–tier institutions in both the United States and China.

A highly–regarded leader, Molidor brings to the role an intimate understanding of exchange infrastructure, custody solutions, evolving regulations, and marketplace dynamics spanning both Eastern and Western Demographics.

"I am confident to pass AscendEX's reins to Shane", Says George Cao, Former Ceo and Co–Founder, "I want to thank my team and community over the past five years for the endearing support you've had in me and this company, and for the confidence entrusted to my exceedingly qualified successor.

I will remain involved and continue to support AscendEX's Board of Directors as Chairman.

Shane Molidor is the right choice to fill this role as he has helped manage and shape this company, holds a deep understanding of the complexities of this market and brings an unmatched commitment to the position. This decision is made with a great deal of trust and optimism for the future of this brand. "

Molidor began his career in Strategy Consultation at the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) after receiving his Bachelor's Degree from Princeton University. He then worked at Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian, in Business Development, Institutional Sales, and Client Services. Most recently, Molidor was the Global Head of FBG One at FBG Capital, a diversified financial institution dedicated to the cryptocurrency and blockchain sectors.

Following a $50mm Series B fundraise for AscendEX in November of 2021, Molidor shares his excitement regarding the company's expansion. Since joining AscendEX, Molidor has grown the team from 15 to 65, coaching each employee to be a subject matter expert in their respective field, as well as encouraging a keen understanding of market microstructure and the ever–evolving cryptocurrency ecosystem. Molidor shares his excitement about revamping the platform's user experience, the addition of new, comprehensive products, and the future state of the company.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to succeed George and lead AscendEX into a new phase of progress and growth," notes Molidor. "As we continue to build, I am confident in the vision and the road ahead for this company, this team, and AscendEX users."

AscendEX is making crypto trading easier with innovative new products and an enhanced user experience. Follow our journey at www.AscendEX.com.

About AscendEX

AscendEX is a global cryptocurrency financial platform with a comprehensive product suite including spot, margin, and futures trading, wallet services, and staking support for over 200 blockchain projects such as bitcoin, ether, and ripple. Launched in 2018, AscendEX services over 1 million retail and institutional clients globally with a highly liquid trading platform and secure custody solutions.

AscendEX has emerged as a leading platform by ROI on its "initial exchange offerings" by supporting some of the industry's most innovative projects from the DeFi ecosystem such as Thorchain, xDai Stake, and Serum. AscendEX users receive exclusive access to token airdrops and the ability to purchase tokens at the earliest possible stage.

For more information and updates, please visit:

Website: https://ascendex.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_ascendex

Telegram: https://t.me/AscendEXEnglish

Medium: https://medium.com/ascendex

Instagram: https://instagram.com/_ascendex/

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Mark Simon Named Vice President Operations & Manufacturing for Nikkiso Clean Energy and Industrial Gases Group Pumps Functional Unit

TEMECULA, Calif., June 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nikkiso Cryogenic Industries' Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group ("Group"), a part of the Nikkiso Co., Ltd (Japan) group of companies, is pleased to announce that Mark Simon has been named Vice President, Operations & Manufacturing for the Pumps Functional Unit.

Mark has significant operations and global experience, most recently with Ebara in Reno for the last nine years, providing leadership as the Vice President of Operations/General Manager for the Cryodynamics division. His extensive education and certifications include a BS in Business Management, Greenbelt Lean/Six Sigma Certification, and ISO/QS 9000 certification.

In this role, Mark will lead global operations for the Cryogenic Pumps Business Unit and work to align and adjust the Group's sites for growth, quality standards, safety, and reporting. He will develop and implement the global manufacturing strategy and operational excellence management system.

"Mark's impressive background and experience in the industrial machinery and energy industry will be of great benefit to NCEIG Pumps Unit and he will serve as a new member of our Senior Leadership Team," according to Daryl Lamy, President, Cryogenic Pumps Unit.

Mark will be based in Reno, Nevada, and will travel extensively to the Group's global and domestic pump locations. With this addition, Nikkiso continues their commitment to be both a global and local presence for their customers.

ABOUT CRYOGENIC INDUSTRIES
Cryogenic Industries, Inc. (now a member of Nikkiso Co., Ltd.) member companies manufacture and service engineered cryogenic gas processing equipment (pumps, turboexpanders, heat exchangers, etc.), and process plants for Industrial Gases, Natural gas Liquefaction (LNG), Hydrogen Liquefaction (LH2) and Organic Rankine Cycle for Waste Heat Recovery. Founded over 50 years ago, Cryogenic Industries is the parent company of ACD, Nikkiso Cryo, Nikkiso Integrated Cryogenic Solutions, Cosmodyne and Cryoquip and a commonly controlled group of approximately 20 operating entities.

For more information, please visit www.nikkisoCEIG.com and www.nikkiso.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Anna Quigley
+1.951.383.3314
aquigley@cryoind.com


ChartWater™ and Calgon Carbon Announce Referral Agreement

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ChartWater a division of Chart Industries, Inc. ("Chart") (NYSE: GTLS), and Calgon Carbon Corporation ("Calgon Carbon"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuraray Co., Ltd. (TYO: 3405) ("Kuraray"), today formally announced an agreement signed in 2021 to jointly offer drinking water systems, using granular activated carbon, to under–resourced rural areas.

The terms of the Agreement allow Calgon Carbon to refer all communities in the United States requiring treatment of up to approximately 175 gallons per minute to ChartWater's AdEdge Water Technologies (AdEdge ), who will source all related GAC from Calgon Carbon. While both companies will continue to provide water treatment solutions for all flow rates, the Agreement enables the Companies to combine their capabilities for solutions that will cost–effectively provide safe drinking water to communities.

According to the U.S. EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act, there are over 140,000 small drinking water systems in the United States. Many of these systems face challenges in meeting ever–changing and stringent regulations around drinking water contamination, making it difficult to provide consistently safe drinking water to customers. The new Agreement offers these small systems access to AdEdge's variety of equipment offerings as well as Calgon Carbon's premium product line, FILTRASORB GAC.

"We are excited to partner with Calgon Carbon to combine their decades of GAC experience with our experience providing complete, packaged treatment systems to municipalities around the United States," said Chris Milligan, President of ChartWater. "ChartWater's AdEdge Center of Excellence provides solutions for municipal and industrial customers of all sizes. This relationship with Calgon Carbon will specifically strengthen our ability to serve smaller utilities with a world–class GAC solution for the removal of PFAS, TOC, disinfection byproducts, and any other contaminants that can be addressed with GAC."

Since creating the first activated carbon products from bituminous coal in the 1940s, Calgon Carbon has been a pioneer in developing high performing granular activated carbon products for water purification.

"Calgon Carbon has provided GAC to hundreds of water suppliers for over 40 years, and we are enthusiastic about this Agreement," said Nora Stockhausen, VP of the Drinking Water Solutions and Innovative Carbon Technologies business unit. "This collaboration allows our FILTRASORB GAC to be more accessible to smaller utilities through AdEdge's reach in this market and we're proud to work together to provide clean, safe drinking water to more Americans."

About Chart Industries, Inc.

Chart Industries, Inc. is a leading independent global manufacturer of highly engineered equipment servicing multiple applications in the Energy and Industrial Gas markets. Our unique product portfolio is used in every phase of the liquid gas supply chain, including upfront engineering, service and repair. Being at the forefront of the clean energy transition, Chart is a leading provider of technology, equipment and services related to liquefied natural gas, hydrogen, biogas and CO2 Capture amongst other applications. We are committed to excellence in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues both for our company as well as our customers. With over 25 global locations from the United States to Asia, Australia, India, Europe and South America, we maintain accountability and transparency to our team members, suppliers, customers and communities. To learn more, visit www.chartindustries.com.

About ChartWaterTM

ChartWater, a division of Chart Industries, is a global manufacturer and service provider of engineered solutions for municipal water treatment and industrial process applications. Its portfolio of proven products, processes, and engineering expertise provides customers with single–point responsibility for complete solutions that enable water professionals to achieve their objectives with the lowest combination of risk and costs while driving enhanced outcomes for people, communities, and the planet. For more information, visit www.chartindustries.com/products/water–treatment

About AdEdge Water Technologies

Founded in 2002 and headquartered just north of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, AdEdge Water Technologies, LLC is a leading provider of advanced water treatment technologies and systems serving municipal, residential and industrial applications nationally and overseas for flow rates up to 15 MGD. AdEdge manufacturers fully integrated and custom water treatment systems to remove over twenty different contaminants from water, including arsenic, iron, manganese, fluoride, PFAS, TOC, and radionuclides. AdEdge also offers an ultra–high recovery reverse osmosis membrane solution for removal of TDS and multiple contaminants, using ROTEC's Flow Reversal Reverse Osmosis. AdEdge was acquired by Chart Industries in August of 2021 as a ChartWater Center of Excellence. For more information, visit www.adedgetech.com.

About Calgon Carbon

Calgon Carbon, a wholly–owned subsidiary of Kuraray Co., Ltd. (TYO: 3405) (Kuraray), is a global leader in the manufacture and/or distribution of innovative coal–, wood– and coconut–based activated carbon products "" in granular, powdered, pelletized and cloth form "" to meet the most challenging purification demands of customers throughout the world. Calgon Carbon provides purification solutions for more than 700 distinct applications, including drinking water, wastewater, pollution abatement, and a variety of industrial and commercial manufacturing processes. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Calgon Carbon employs approximately 1640 people and operates 20 manufacturing, reactivation, innovation and equipment fabrication facilities in the U.S., Asia, and in Europe, where Calgon Carbon is known as Chemviron. Calgon Carbon was acquired by Kuraray in March of 2018. With complementary products and services, the combined organization will continue to focus on providing the highest quality and most innovative activated carbon and filtration media products, equipment, and services to meet


HYCU® Secures $53 Million Series B to Fuel Hypergrowth for New SaaS-based Service

Boston, Massachusetts, June 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HYCU, Inc., a pioneering enterprise BaaS company specializing in hybrid cloud and multi–cloud data backup and recovery as a service, today announced its $53 million Series B led by Acrew Capital. All Series A investors returned, including Bain Capital Ventures (BCV). Strategic investors and innovation leaders Atlassian Ventures and Cisco Investments also participated in the round. Funding will help accelerate several key go–to–market initiatives to support significant demand in HYCU's multi–cloud data protection solutions across on–premises and public cloud environments, including bringing to market a new developer–led SaaS service.

With 92 percent of organizations rapidly adopting a SaaS–based multi–cloud model, there is a critical need for companies to deploy a new breed of solutions that serve as true multi–cloud data protection delivered as a service. With a mission of building a safer world by protecting critical data, HYCU will use the new funding to continue developing its solution to serve ever–evolving data and recovery needs. Over the past 12 months, HYCU has added 165 employees across go–to–market, sales, HR and engineering. The new funding will accelerate key positions in alliances, product marketing and customer success as well as advance some key innovation–focused solutions and services delivery.

"With an average of more than 130 data silos in use at today's enterprises, any solution to manage, protect and recover data should be easy to use and deploy," said HYCU Founder and CEO Simon Taylor. "HYCU fundamentally believes there is a better way to solve data protection needs, and we are on track to deliver a profoundly simple and powerful solution before the end of the year. Adding strategic investment from Atlassian Ventures and Cisco Investments, along with the on–going support from Bain Capital and Acrew is a testament to what the team has developed and is delivering to customers worldwide."

Theresia Gouw, cofounder of Acrew Capital, joins BCV Partners Enrique Salem and Stefan Cohen, and Simon Taylor on the HYCU Board of Directors. Gouw, a well–respected investor and strategic leader, currently serves on several SaaS boards, including SolvHealth, PredictHQ and Ketch. Her experience in the industry will help HYCU as it continues to enhance and grow its solution portfolio to meet customer needs.

"The rise of multi–cloud brings an insurgence of ransomware threats," said Gouw. "Amidst the current economic climate, the explosion of data assets and the high value of data, we've seen HYCU rise as the key way of simplifying the multi–cloud data protection experience including a powerful way to address ransomware protection and recovery. I look forward to being an active member of the HYCU Board of Directors and to help further position HYCU as the leading data backup and recovery solution for multi–cloud and SaaS solutions. This is only the beginning and it's an exciting time to be paving the way to the future of data protection."

In recent years, SaaS customers have begun to require answers to how their data is protected. As a result, organizations are identifying the need for data backup and recovery solutions. HYCU provides granular recovery capabilities, supporting individual file systems and networks that enable SaaS services to easily write an enterprise–grade data protection solution directly into its platform.

"In the hybrid world, customers expect to consume cloud delivered as–a–Service offerings. HYCU is applying this to backup and data resiliency with a cloud–native, storage agnostic solution," said Aleem Rizvon, vice president of Corporate Development for Cisco. "Through Cisco Intersight, we are working to transform many of the traditional IT functions into cloud services. That's why we are pleased to invest in HYCU as they bring this approach to the data resiliency space."

"At Atlassian, we believe in breaking down organizational and data silos across technical and business teams. Collaboration is about bringing these teams together, and HYCU does this by allowing customers to work together on a secure and reliable platform,” said Matt Sonefeldt, Head of Atlassian Ventures. "We're excited to welcome HYCU to the Atlassian Ventures family and believe its approach to data protection as a service creates immense potential for our 200,000+ cloud customers."

HYCU's Series B follows a $87.5M Series A led by BCV last year and brings the total investment to $140M in a little over a year. Building on year–on–year bookings growth of 150%, this announcement follows a successful first quarter close, with projections to achieve the same growth rate in 2022. The company also tripled revenue in the past 12 months, maintained a 135% net–retention rate, maintained a 91 net promoter score (NPS), the highest in the industry for data protection companies, and saw a 4x increase in valuation in the last year.

For more information on HYCU, visit: https://www.hycu.com, or follow @hycuinc and connect with HYCU on LinkedIn.

###

About HYCU

HYCU is the fastest–growing leader in the multi–cloud backup and recovery as a service industry. By bringing true SaaS–based data backup to both on–premises and cloud–native environments, the company provides unparalleled data protection, migration and disaster recovery to more than 3,100 companies worldwide. HYCU's award–winning, purpose–built solutions eliminate the complexity, risk and high cost of legacy–based solutions, providing data protection simplicity in a hyper–connected, multi–cloud world. Customers experience frictionless, cost–effective data backup and recovery, no matter where their data resides. Based in Boston, Mass., the company employs 300 people across the globe. Learn more at www.hycu.com.


Asda Stores Ltd Selects TrueCommerce to Manage its Business Transformation Initiative as It Separates from Walmart

COVENTRY, United Kingdom, June 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TrueCommerce, a leading global cloud provider of supply chain and trading partner connectivity, integration and omnichannel solutions, announced today that Asda is now using TrueCommerce's EDI–based supplier enablement solution to manage supplier communications.

As the third–largest supermarket chain in the UK, Asda operates over 600 retail stores. The brand also offers their products online via Asda.com, which serves 98% of UK homes. To do so, Asda is supported by 37 distribution and fulfilment centres and thousands of suppliers.

In February 2021, Asda was sold by Walmart to the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital. That sale led the company to choose a new EDI provider that would support its future as a standalone business: TrueCommerce.

"TrueCommerce was part of a comprehensive RFP process and was selected on the basis of four key factors: its ability to understand and meet the Asda capability requirements, its confidence in adhering to programme timelines, its deep knowledge and expertise, and its overall commercial competitiveness," said Jenny Hopkins, Senior Director at Asda.

As part of the agreement, TrueCommerce will implement a supplier enablement platform catering to the needs of the over 2,000 suppliers that make up Asda's entire supplier community, with integration into the business's SAP ERP system. As an SAP Silver Partner, TrueCommerce's solution offers the highest level of integration and automation with the SAP system.

The solution offered by TrueCommerce features key capabilities that will enable thousands of Asda suppliers, regardless of their size or technical maturity, to easily communicate with the retailer. In addition to supporting EDI transactions, the supplier enablement platform also includes a web–EDI portal for use by non–EDI capable vendors. TrueCommerce's platform also includes fully managed supplier onboarding and communications management for EDI–related supplier queries.

TrueCommerce's expertise in the market and experience in managing complex supply chain communications for enterprise–grade businesses will enable a seamless transition for Asda and its supplier community. It will encourage higher rates of adoption that will, in turn, underpin the company's ongoing supplier communication efforts.

Jenny highlighted that, "By partnering with TrueCommerce, Asda will offer a strong, stable, fully reliable and excellently managed EDI programme to our highly valued Asda suppliers, no matter how big or small they are!"

David Grosvenor, Managing Director, TrueCommerce Europe said, "I'd like to thank Jenny and the team at Asda for their cooperation in this process. Our teams at TrueCommerce are delighted to begin working with Asda and help further strengthen their business in the UK retail landscape."

About Asda Stores Ltd

Founded in the 1960s in Yorkshire, Asda is Britain's third largest supermarket. Dedicated colleagues serve customers from its network of stores and online services, including supercentres, superstores, supermarkets, living stores, petrol filling stations and depots across the UK. Asda was acquired by Issa TDR from Walmart in 2020.

About TrueCommerce

TrueCommerce is the most complete way to connect your business across the supply chain, integrating everything from EDI to inventory management, to fulfilment, to digital storefronts and marketplaces. We've revolutionised supply chain visibility and collaboration by helping organisations make the most of their omnichannel initiatives via business P2P connectivity, order management, collaborative replenishment, intelligent fulfillment, cross–functional analytics, and product information management.

The TrueCommerce Global Commerce Network can connect businesses to over 160,000 retailers, distributors, and logistics service providers. As a fully managed services provider, we also manage new trading partner onboarding, as well as the ongoing management of partner–specific mapping, labeling changes, and communications monitoring. That's why thousands of companies""ranging from startups to the global Fortune 100, across various industries""rely on us.

TrueCommerce: Do business in every direction

For more information, visit TrueCommerce.

Media Contact
Yegor Kuznetsov, TrueCommerce
703–209–0167
yegor.kuznetsov@truecommerce.com


Youth must be Equal Partners in Digital Decision Making – ITU Youth Summit

Delegates at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) summit debate the role of youth in narrowing the digital divide. Credit: ITU

Delegates at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) summit debate the role of youth in narrowing the digital divide. Credit: ITU

By Juliet Morrison
Toronto, Jun 9 2022 – “50 percent of the present, but 100 percent of the future,” was the refrain at the first-ever Generation Connect Global Youth Summit.

Held in Kigali, Rwanda, from June 2-4, the youth summit saw community activists, entrepreneurs, engineers, policymakers, and students from over 115 countries discuss the digital divide and youth engagement. Another 4,800 participants joined virtually from research centers, universities, and schools.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN agency on information and communication technologies, organized the summit. It served as a build-up to the ITU’s World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC), held two days after the conference, from June 6–16.

Participants at the summit emphasized the need for young people to be considered equal partners in decision-making, especially around problems concerning their future.

“We know that young people are going to be the most affected by problems like the climate crisis. That means that we must have a stake in what is decided and what is negotiated in these spaces,” climate activist Xiye Bastida said.

The discussion was also centered around bridging the digital divide. Like the later WTDC conference, the summit’s theme was “connecting the unconnected to achieve sustainable development.”

During the opening ceremony, Prime Minister of Rwanda Édouard Ngirente remarked upon the benefits of digital technologies being omnipresent in daily life. But the Prime Minister also noted that many were missing out on the advantages of technological innovation.

Globally more than 2.2 billion children and young people lack an internet connection at home. Of those, 350 million young people have never accessed the internet.

“The digital economy is growing rapidly, with almost every aspect of our lives moving online and massive economic opportunities being created. Opportunities ahead are indeed promising, but in order to fully tap into these opportunities, we must ensure that nobody is left behind,” he said.

Ngirente mentioned that the lack of uniform access to technology posed challenges for economic development and youth employment rates.

“The extent to which our economies can grow will depend on the ability to ensure equitable access to technology and upskilling and reskilling our populations, especially the young,” he said.

Currently, access to internet connectivity is inequitable. Accessibility depends on factors like income, demographic, and gender.

For example, only 15 percent of women and girls in the least developed countries use the internet, noted Heidi Schroderus-Fox, the UN Acting High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States.

“There’s a huge gap,” Schroderus-Fox said. “We need to make sure that the opportunities of the internet and the digital world are provided equally for everyone, women, girls, men, boys, everyone.”

Critical policy matters related to internet connectivity and technologies, such as cyber-safety, the future of work, and entrepreneurship, were also explored in summit sessions. The need for youth engagement to weigh in on these policy matters remained an essential thread throughout the event.

Twenty-six-year-old Emma Theofelus, the Namibian Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, talked about how young people are best positioned to discuss regulations around online work and content creation due to their experience navigating online spaces.

“Policy should take center stage. But, beyond that, it is a policy that should be co-created by young people. We understand best the complexities and challenges of online platforms and the harms that can come with it,” she said.

The emphasis on youth engagement was central to the summit’s outcome document—the Generation Connect’s Call to Action. “Our Digital Future,” lists recommendations to foster better youth participation around decisions in governments, the UN, and the ITU for “a more inclusive, sustainable digital future.”

Situating the Call to Action, the Rwandan Minister of Youth Rosemary Mbabazi emphasized the document as a pivotal step for more digital inclusivity.

“The Call for Action embodies the call to the young minds, the global partners, the private sector, and the commitment to provide internet connectivity and make it accessible, available, and affordable through creating and enabling an environment as well as providing the prerequisite infrastructure for the young people to invent and innovate,” she said.

Although the Call to Action had been in the works since 2020 and had already undergone an extensive online consultation process, it was finalized during the summit. There, attendees reviewed the document and gave suggestions for improvement.

One suggestion was to refer to sexual minorities alongside gender minorities. Another was to swap the phrase “digital rights” for “human rights” to leverage the issue’s urgency for policymakers and use established language for international documents.

The Generation Connect Call to Action was to be presented to leaders at the WTDC.

IPS UN Bureau Report

 


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Living in Harmony with Nature

Hindou Ibrahim, SDG Advocate and Indigenous Rights Activist. Credit: Africa Renewal, United Nations

By Devi Palanivelu
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 9 2022 – Thirty years ago, the Earth Summit, which took place in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, paved the way for the establishment of three major conventions on the environment – specifically on biodiversity, climate change and desertification.

As countries meet on all three conventions in 2022, SDG Advocate and indigenous rights activist Hindou Ibrahim talks about the indispensable role that indigenous communities around the world play in protecting life on our planet – its biodiversity, land and climate.

“As indigenous peoples, we say, we are not different than the rest of the species, we are only one species of nature, so we cannot harm the rest of them. So that’s why living in harmony, it’s connecting each other, respecting each other and trying to keep the balance without harming the rest of the species – species of nature,” says Ms. Ibrahim.

She is no stranger to international climate change, human rights and sustainability processes. In 1999, at just 15 years of age, she founded the Association of Indigenous Peul Women and Peoples of Chad, a community-based organization that promotes the rights of girls and women in Chad’s Mbororo community which she belongs to.

In the years following, she became the co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, and today she is one of the 17 eminent global leaders known as the SDG Advocates.

For centuries, indigenous communities like hers have protected our environment. They care for more than 20 per cent of our planet’s land and 80 percent of its biodiversity.

Devi Palanivelu

“For centuries and centuries, my great grandparents have always used the ecosystem. They know the ecosystem, they move from one place to another one to find work in pastures, but in this way of living, it is giving back to nature; it is helping nature to get regenerated in a natural way”.

“So, for all the indigenous peoples around the world, this is the deeper connection we have. And that’s also why we are protecting 80 per cent of the world’s biodiversity. Because for us, it is not a passion, or a job. It is our way of living. And that’s what we have done for all generations.”

Their way of life – rich with traditional knowledge and respect for nature – and their ability to manage natural resources sustainably supports the lives and livelihoods of 2.5 billion people or about 1 in 3 people in the world.

“We are very happy that now – from the private sector to the public, to UN agencies, all people are saying how important are indigenous peoples and their role to protect the biodiversity but to fight climate change, they are finally recognizing that indigenous peoples are a solution, we are not only a victim of the climate change,” says Ms. Ibrahim.

Indigenous communities have historically been at the margins of formal global negotiations on climate change. They were finally given a voice alongside governments in 2015 when the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change created the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform.

“When we talk about nature, when we talk about the climate, most of the time people talk a lot, but they do not act, maybe it is difficult for them to find the way to act. This is where the role of indigenous peoples [should be] in the centre of each discussion because we are not only talking, we are acting. We want the people who are talking to follow us and act. If we [have] acted all those years, we won’t be in this pathway of climate impact every single day.”

At the 2021 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, governments pledged $12 billion to stop and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. $1.7 billion was earmarked to support indigenous communities’ efforts to conserve tropical forests.

However, the world’s nearly 480 million indigenous peoples living in at least 90 countries need support to protect a diversity of ecosystems – from the glaciers in the Arctic to the steppes in Central Asia and the savannahs in Africa – that are threatened by climate change.

“Imagine when you come in country like mine, in Chad. In the north, you have the desert 100 per cent; you come a little bit down, you have the Sahara regions; you go a little bit further you have the savannah. And after the savannah, you have the tropical forests. What is happening with climate change?”

“ [With] desertification advanced, the people from the desert moved to the Sahel, the people from the Sahel moved to the savannahs, those from savannah moved to tropical forests. And that’s also how the peoples are using the ecosystem that exists. So, you cannot choose to protect only the tropical forests. When you place money, you must think about all the rest of the ecosystem that interconnects – from the oceans to the glaciers,” stresses Ms. Ibrahim.

In recent years, the world’s leading scientists have recognized indigenous communities as “some of the best environment stewards” stressing their central role in safeguarding life on our planet.

Their traditional knowledge – which is closely linked to their lands, territories and resources – can help end food insecurity, combat climate change and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss.

“Around the world, we are facing a lot of crises – from the environment to health and to wars. But when we think about the impact of all that, it is based on human survival and planet survival, so we must all act to fight climate change, and

Source Africa Renewal, United Nations

The interview was first published here as part of the climate thought leader series.

IPS UN Bureau

 


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An Open Borders World

A world with open borders, as some strongly advocate while others insist on maintaining controlled borders, is an interesting exercise to consider given its potential consequences for nations, the planet's 8 billion human inhabitants, climate change, and the environment

In virtually every region, governments appear to be at a loss on how best to address international migration, especially the waves of illegal migration arriving daily at international borders and the many already residing unlawfully within their countries. Credit: Alexander Bee/OIM

By Joseph Chamie
PORTLAND, USA, Jun 9 2022 – A world with open borders, as some strongly advocate while others insist on maintaining controlled borders, is an interesting exercise to consider given its potential consequences for nations, the planet’s 8 billion human inhabitants, climate change, and the environment.

Based on international surveys of 152 countries taken several years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 15 percent of the world’s adults said that they would like to migrate permanently to another country if they could. Based on that percentage for adults plus their family members, the estimated number of people who want to migrate in 2022 is likely to be no less than 1.5 billion.

Seven destination countries attract half of those wanting to migrate to another country. The top destination country at 21 percent of those wanting to migrate is the United States. Substantially lower, Canada and Germany are next at 6 percent, followed by France and Australia at 5 percent, the United Kingdom at 4 percent, and Saudi Arabia at 3 percent

The figure of 1.5 billion wanting to migrate is more than 5 times the estimated number of immigrants in the world in 2020, or about 281 million. The figure of potential immigrants is also approximately 500 times the annual flow of immigrants globally.

The two regions with the highest proportions wanting to migrate to another country if they had the chance are sub-Saharan Africa at 33 percent and Latin America and the Caribbean at 27 percent. In addition, in 13 countries at least half of their populations would like to migrate to another country.

The top three countries with the proportion of their adult populations wanting to migrate are Sierra Leone at 71 percent, Liberia at 66 percent, and Haiti at 63 percent. They are followed by Albania at 60 percent, El Salvador at 52 percent, the Democratic Republic of the Congo at 50 percent.

Seven destination countries attract half of those wanting to migrate to another country. The top destination country at 21 percent of those wanting to migrate is the United States. Substantially lower, Canada and Germany are next at 6 percent, followed by France and Australia at 5 percent, the United Kingdom at 4 percent, and Saudi Arabia at 3 percent.

Among those seven destination countries, the numbers wanting to migrate are greater than the current populations of five of them. For example, the number of people wanting to migrate to Canada is 90 million versus its current population of 38 million. Similarly, the number wanting to migrate to Germany is 94 million versus its current population of 84 million. In the remaining two countries, the United States and the United Kingdom, the numbers wanting to migrate are nearly the same size as their current populations (Figure 1).

 

A world with open borders, as some strongly advocate while others insist on maintaining controlled borders, is an interesting exercise to consider given its potential consequences for nations, the planet's 8 billion human inhabitants, climate change, and the environment

Source: United Nations and Gallup.

 

In addition to its impact on the size of populations, open borders would alter the ethnic, religious, and linguistic composition of populations, leading to increased cultural diversity. Past and present international migration flows have demonstrated alterations in the cultural composition of populations.

In the United States, for example, since 1965 when the Immigration and National Act on country of origin was passed, the proportion Hispanic increased nearly five-fold, from 4 percent to 19 percent in 2020, and the proportion non-Hispanic white declined from 84 percent to 58 percent. Similarly in Germany, the proportion Muslim since 1965 has increased five-fold, from less than 1 percent to 5 percent of the population in 2020.

Various reasons have been offered both in support and in opposition to an open borders world. For example, those opposed believe open borders would increase security threats, damage domestic economies, benefit big business and elites, increase societal costs, encourage brain drain, facilitate illegal trade, reduce labor wages, undermine cultural integrity, and create integration problems (Table 1).

 

A world with open borders, as some strongly advocate while others insist on maintaining controlled borders, is an interesting exercise to consider given its potential consequences for nations, the planet's 8 billion human inhabitants, climate change, and the environment

Source: Author’s compilation.

 

In contrast, those in support believe open borders would provide a basic human right, reduce poverty, increase GDP growth, reduce border control costs, increase the labor supply, provide talented workers, promote travel, reduce time and costs of travel, raise a country’s tax base, promote cultural diversity, and contribute to global interdependence.

Open borders would certainly impact the cultural composition of populations. Even without open borders, the current changes in the cultural composition of populations being brought about by international migration have not only raised public concerns but have also contributed to the growing influence of nativist and far-right political parties.

The nativist parties are typically opposed to immigration, seeing it as a threat to their national cultural integrity. In contrast, those supportive of immigration welcome the arrival of people with differing backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures. They view immigration it as a natural, ongoing human phenomenon that enriches societies.

Open borders would also have consequences on climate change and the environment. Large numbers of people would be migrating to countries with high levels of greenhouse gas emissions per capita. For example, while the world average of tons of CO2 equivalent per person is about 6, the level in the United States is about three times as large at 19.

Similarly, open borders would impact the environment. The migration to the high consumption destination countries would lead to increased biodiversity loss, pollution, and congestion.

An open borders world is not likely to happen any time soon. However, recent large-scale immigration flows, both legal and illegal, are substantially impacting government programs, domestic politics, international relations, and public opinion as well as the size and composition of the populations.

In virtually every region, governments appear to be at a loss on how best to address international migration, especially the waves of illegal migration arriving daily at international borders and the many already residing unlawfully within their countries. International conventions, agreements, and compacts concerning international migration are largely viewed as being outdated, unrealistic, and ineffective in dealing with today’s international migration issues.

The supply of men, women, and children in poor developing countries wanting to migrate greatly exceeds the demand for those migrants in wealthy developed countries by a factor of about five hundred.

The result is the Great Migration Clash, i.e., a worldwide struggle between those who “want out” of their countries and those who want others to “keep out” of their countries.

Given the enormous difference in supply and demand, the Migration Clash is unlikely to be resolved by simply asking destination countries to raise their immigration levels. To resolve the Migration Clash will require considerably improving the social, economic, political, and environmental conditions of the populations in the migrant sending countries.

Achieving those desirable development goals any time soon, however, appears as unlikely as establishing an open borders world. Therefore, countries will continue dealing the best they can with the consequences of controlled borders and the Great Migration Clash.

Joseph Chamie is a consulting demographer, a former director of the United Nations Population Division and author of numerous publications on population issues, including his recent book, “Births, Deaths, Migrations and Other Important Population Matters.”

Will Apex Court Ruling Remove Stigma for Sex Workers in India?

Activists, Tahira Hasan, and Shahira Naim welcome the Supreme Court ruling which recognises sex work as a profession. However, questions are asked about whether the ruling is enough to guarantee that those in the profession no longer face harassment.

Activists, Tahira Hasan, and Shahira Naim welcome the Supreme Court ruling which recognises sex work as a profession. However, questions are asked about whether the ruling is enough to guarantee that those in the profession no longer face harassment.

By Mehru Jaffer
Lucknow, Jun 9 2022 – Social activists, including Lucknow-based Tahira Hasan, have welcomed the Indian Supreme Court’s recent ruling recognising sex work as a profession.

The top court ruled that sex workers should be treated with dignity and that workshops be held to make them aware of their rights.

“This is a welcome step taken by the country’s top court. It is only fair to reiterate that sex work is a profession like any other. It is the duty of society to ensure that sex workers can earn a living without harassment,” Hasan told the IPS.

In the absence of a law, the Court invoked its special power under Article 142 of the Constitution to issue guidelines that define sex work as a profession.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao said that sex workers are entitled to protection and dignity in the eyes of the law.

“Notwithstanding the profession, every individual in this country has a right to a dignified life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” said the Supreme Court order, as published on LiveLaw.

“Whenever there is a raid on any brothel, since voluntary sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful, the sex workers concerned should not be arrested or penalised or harassed or victimised.

“When it is clear that the sex worker is an adult and is participating with consent, the police must refrain from interfering or taking any criminal action,” reads the judgment.

According to the ruling, sex workers cannot be discriminated against by police officials when they lodge a criminal complaint, especially if the offence committed against them is of a sexual nature.

It said that the police could not intervene unnecessarily in the business of sex workers, and the police should be sensitised towards them. The latest guidelines rule that sex workers be provided medical and legal care.

(The) “basic protection of human decency and dignity extends to sex workers and their children, who, bearing the brunt of social stigma attached to their work, are removed to the fringes of the society, deprived of their right to live with dignity and opportunities to provide the same to their children.”

The Court made particular reference to the children of sex workers, noting that “if a minor is found living in a brothel or with sex workers, it should not be presumed that he/she has been trafficked. In case the sex worker claims that he/she is her son/daughter, tests can be done to determine if the claim is correct and if so, the minor should not be forcibly separated.”

The apex Court has also ordered the police not to reveal the identity of sex workers to the media and has asked the Press Council of India to issue appropriate guidelines in this regard.

According to the Court, what the sex workers do for their health and safety cannot be construed as an offence. It reminded the country that Article 21 of the Constitution gives every citizen the right to live a dignified life and practice their profession without fear.

The Court has asked the government for its opinion on the guidelines for sex workers. It asked the government to clarify its stand on recommendations made by a panel in 2011 for exempting adult sex workers who engaged in consensual sex from being criminalised.

The central government needs to develop a law for sex workers. Until that happens, the Court would like to see the rehabilitation of sex workers. Police, it said, should undergo sensitisation training because they are often accused of abusing and subjecting them to violence.

However, Shahira Naim, journalist and social activist, wonders if the recent Court ruling will improve the plight of sex workers. While sex work has always been legal in India, but society treats those involved with contempt.

Despite the concern expressed by the Court, sex workers, especially women, continue to be denied dignity.  When hotels are raided, it is often the prostitute who is arrested while the male client and the pimp are allowed to escape. Training the police is necessary where it is not easy to wash away the stigma connected to the profession.

It is the enforcement of laws that will restore dignity.

“Till the stigma attached to the profession is dealt with, sex workers will continue to be disrespected in society. A good law alone cannot make life easy for them, but practising the spirit of the law will help,” Naim said.

Sex workers remain vulnerable to this day. There is the example of the 42-year-old woman killed in the southern Indian city of Bangalore by a security guard for refusing to have unprotected sex with him. In January 2020, the security guard was kicked by a sex worker when he tried to force himself upon her without a condom. He asked her to return the money he had already paid her for sex. Angry and afraid because she made a noise, the security guard allegedly slit the throat of the prostitute and escaped.

According to newspaper reports, the police eventually traced the murderer and took him into custody.

A sex worker who did not want to reveal her name said the existing laws are not bad, but they are not implemented in the way they should be. The court’s recent ruling is yet another appeal to society to practice the law of the land in spirit.

The ruling puts the plight of sex workers at the centre of a public debate at a time when people continue to be embarrassed to talk about it. The topic is taboo. Even mentioning sex workers is considered sinful in a society that once celebrated prostitutes. In Indian mythology, prostitutes are described as celestial beings. They are mentioned as a perfect incarnation of beauty and whose musical talent and masterful dance steps were appreciated by ancient society.

But it has been a long haul for contemporary sex workers who continue to struggle for a little more dignity in life. While voluntary sex work is legal, running a brothel is illegal in India. If brothels, hotels, pimping and propositioning are all illegal, then how and where the sex worker is supposed to carry out her business, questions Naim.

This kind of harassment ought to end as the Court reiterates that sex work is a profession like any other and that the police should neither interfere nor take criminal action against adults and consenting sex.

But if and when the harassment will end is the question.

IPS UN Bureau Report

 


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