Zoom named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for UCaaS, Worldwide

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM), today announced that analyst firm Gartner has named Zoom a Leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Worldwide for the third time in a row. The UCaaS report evaluated 12 companies in the unified communications space, and Zoom has been recognized as both a Leader and a Visionary in this space for its UCaaS offerings. Zoom's offerings in this space include enterprise–grade solutions like Zoom Team Chat, Zoom Phone, Zoom Meetings, and Zoom Whiteboard.

For this year's Magic Quadrant, the meetings category has been rolled into the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) category, which now includes enterprise telephony, meetings, unified & instant messaging, mobility, and communications–enabled business processes.

"We are proud to be included in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for UCaaS and believe it solidifies our influence in this space," said Greg Tomb, President of Zoom. "Zoom continues to prioritize and pair ease of use with innovation to build a platform that meets emerging collaboration demands and further delivers customer happiness."

To read a complimentary copy of the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for UCaas report, please click here.

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide, [Rafael Benitez, Megan Fernandez], [November 28, 2022] Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. GARTNER and Magic Quadrant are registered trademarks and service marks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

About Zoom
Zoom is for you. Zoom is a space where you can connect to others, share ideas, make plans, and build toward a future limited only by your imagination. Our frictionless communications platform is the only one that started with video as its foundation, and we have set the standard for innovation ever since. That is why we are an intuitive, scalable, and secure choice for large enterprises, small businesses, and individuals alike. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ:ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Visit zoom.com and follow @zoom.

Zoom Public Relations
Kelsey Knight
Corporate PR Lead

GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8706308)

Vanderburgh Co. Cyber Crime Task Force and Cellebrite Combine Efforts to Resolve Crimes Quicker and Exonerate the Innocent

PETAH TIKVA, Israel, TYSONS CORNER, Va., and EVANSVILLE, Ind., Nov. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cellebrite DI Ltd. (Nasdaq: CLBT), a global leader in Digital Intelligence (DI) solutions for the public and private sectors, today announced the results of its work with the Vanderburgh Co. Cyber Crime Task Force (VCCCTF) to accelerate justice with Cellebrite collect and review solutions.

At present, Director Jess Powers' VCCCTF team utilizes Cellebrite Premium, as well as other Cellebrite collect and review solutions.

Director Powers stated, "Prior to our digital transformation, it took months to retrieve data from devices. With Cellebrite, we expect to deliver actionable intelligence in just three days." Over time, Director Powers has built a unit that now services 29 agencies from 11 states.

Director Powers stated, "There's a reason people are after Cellebrite Premium [".] As soon as agencies find out that we have one just by word of mouth, they start coming to us."

Director Powers stated, "With the data that we're churning out from over a thousand devices [in 18 months], our average disposition time for felonies is about 137 days, compared to 255, which is the national average. Based on the statistics that we have, for the first year and half that we've been doing this, we've been able to churn out about a 73% successful prosecution rate."

Director Powers assembled a team of digital forensics experts including Criminal Investigator Gage Shots, Criminal Investigator Jon Carter, and Criminal Investigator Alexis Nunn.

In one case, a violent felon was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for drug trafficking and gun crimes based on the data retrieved using the Cellebrite collect & review solutions.

Cellebrite's solutions also assist with the exoneration of the innocent. As Director Powers explained, "Within less than 12 hours, we were able to exonerate a crime suspect so that their name was never in the news with a charge, their mug shot didn't pop up, and they were never taken to jail."

When asked what inspires her to come to work each day, Director Powers responded, "Our team can exonerate the innocent, we can convict the guilty, and I never have to put a bulletproof vest on. That's it for me."

To view a video of Director Jess Powers and the Vanderburgh Co. Cyber Crime Task Force, please visit here.

About Cellebrite

Cellebrite's (Nasdaq: CLBT) mission is to enable its customers to protect and save lives, accelerate justice, and preserve privacy in communities around the world. We are a global leader in Digital Intelligence solutions for the public and private sectors, empowering organizations in mastering the complexities of legally sanctioned digital investigations by streamlining intelligence processes. Trusted by thousands of leading agencies and companies worldwide, Cellebrite's Digital Intelligence platform and solutions transform how customers collect, review, analyze and manage data in legally sanctioned investigations. To learn more visit us at www.cellebrite.com, https://investors.cellebrite.com, or follow us on Twitter at @Cellebrite UFED.

Cellebrite Media
Victor Cooper
Public Relations and Corporate Communications Director
+1 404.804.5910

Investor Relations

GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8705549)

ScyllaDB Expands Leadership Team with Red Hat Veteran Amidst Rapid Growth

PALO ALTO, Calif. and HERZLIYA, Israel, Nov. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ScyllaDB, the company behind the ScyllaDB database for data–intensive apps that require high throughput and low latency, today announced that Yaniv Kaul has joined the company as VP of Research and Development. Kaul comes to ScyllaDB from Red Hat, where he was Senior Director of Engineering.

Kaul is joining ScyllaDB at an inflection point in its growth, with the company becoming the distributed database of choice for fast–growing markets such as gaming, social media, IoT, media streaming, cybersecurity, and fraud detection. ScyllaDB's growth was recently recognized in the Deloitte Fast 500, where the company's 800% growth made it the 185th fastest–growing company in North America (and the only database company on the list). This explosive growth is the result of ScyllaDB's deep commitment to performance at scale, stability, simplicity, and community.

"Avi [Kivity] and I worked with Yaniv on KVM at Red Hat," explained ScyllaDB CEO Dor Laor. "He has an impressive combination of deep technical expertise and the ability to lead complex community–based projects that span multiple technologies with the collaboration of hundreds of remote developers. I am excited to be collaborating with him again, and I am eager to see the impact he makes on ScyllaDB engineering "" and ultimately our end users."

"I've been following Seastar [an advanced, open–source C++ framework for high–performance server applications on modern hardware] and ScyllaDB since the projects' inception," added Kaul. "This team of engineers has such a distinguished track record of technical achievements; I'm honored to be leading the next phase of the journey."

At Red Hat, Kaul led the Cloud Infrastructure engineering group, which included the OpenStack, Virtualization Management, Cloud Storage and Data Services, and Performance and Scale engineering groups. In addition to leading engineering teams, Kaul also brings years of Quality Assurance and security experience to ScyllaDB. A graduate of University of Hertfordshire (BSc., Computing and Networks), Kaul holds 8 patents related to virtual machine performance tuning, in–memory caching, and SSD block–based storage.

About ScyllaDB

ScyllaDB is the database for data–intensive apps that require high performance and low latency. It enables teams to harness the ever–increasing computing power of modern infrastructures "" eliminating barriers to scale as data grows. Unlike any other database, ScyllaDB is built with deep architectural advancements that enable exceptional end–user experiences at radically lower costs. Over 400 game–changing companies like Disney+ Hotstar, Expedia, Discord, Zillow, Starbucks, Comcast, and Samsung use ScyllaDB for their toughest database challenges. ScyllaDB is available as free open source software, a fully–supported enterprise product, and a fully managed service on multiple cloud providers. For more information: ScyllaDB.com

Media Contact
Wayne Ariola

GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8704823)

Three Ways to End Gender-based Violence

Testing new approaches for preventing gender-based violence to galvanize more and new partners and resources. Credit: UN Women

By Jacqui Stevenson, Jessica Zimerman and Diego Antoni
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 30 2022 – How are the multiple shocks and crises the world is facing changing how we respond to gender-based violence? Almost three years after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered high levels of violence against women and girls, the recent Sexual Violence Research Initiative Forum 2022 (SVRI) shed some light on the best ways forward.

Bringing together over 1,000 researchers, practitioners, policymakers and activists in Cancún, Mexico, the forum highlighted new research on what works to stop and address one of the most widespread violations of human rights.

While some participants candidly – and bravely – shared that their initiatives did not have the intended impact, many discussed efforts that transformed lives, in big and small ways.

After 5 days of the forum one thing was clear; a lack of evidence is not what is standing in the way of achieving a better future. It is a lack of opportunities and the will to apply that evidence.

Among the many shared findings, UNDP presented its own evidence.

Since 2018, the global project on Ending Gender-based Violence and Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a partnership between UNDP and the Republic of Korea, and in collaboration with United Nations University International Institute for Global Health, has tested new approaches for preventing and addressing gender-based violence, to galvanize more and new partners, resources, and support to move from rhetoric to action.

Three key strategies have emerged.

1. We need to integrate

Gender-based violence (GBV) intersects with all areas of sustainable development. That means that every development initiative provides a chance to address the causes of violence and to transform harmful social norms that not only put women disproportionately at risk for violence, but also limit progress.

Bringing together diverse partners to jointly incorporate efforts to end GBV into “non-GBV” programmes has been central to the Ending GBV and Achieving the SDGs project. Pilots in Indonesia, Peru and the Republic of Moldova integrated a GBV lens into local development planning.

The results were local action plans that focused on needs and solutions identified by the communities themselves, including evidence-based GBV prevention programming such as the Common Elements Treatment Approach, which has been proven to reduce violence along with risk factors such as alcohol abuse. This approach is growing, opening up new and more spaces for this work.

2. We need to elevate

While evidence is crucial to creating change, the work doesn’t stop there. We also need to elevate this evidence to policy makers and to support them in putting the findings into action. In our global project, we went about this in different ways.

In Peru women’s rights advocates and the local government worked together to draft a local action plan to address drivers of violence in the community of Villa El Salvador (VES). By working collaboratively and building trust between key players, the project was able to take a more holistic approach and to create stronger alliances to boost its sustainability and impacts.

In particular, the local action plan was informed by cost analysis research that showed that this approach would pay for itself if it prevented violence for only 0.6 percent of the 80,000-plus women in VES who are at risk for violence every year.

Since the pilot’s launch, more than 15 other local governments have expressed interest in the model, and it has already been replicated in three.

3. We need to finance

Less than 1 percent of bilateral official development assistance (ODA) and philanthropic funding is given to prevent and address GBV, despite the fact that roughly a third of women have experienced physical or sexual violence.

The “Imperative to Invest” study, funded by the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative and presented at the SVRI Forum, shows just what can be achieved with a US$500 million investment. The study highlights that Spotlight’s efforts will have prevented 21 million women and girls from experiencing violence by 2025.

The Ending GBV and Achieving the SDGs project also finds positive results when financing local plans. Through pilot initiatives in Peru, Moldova and Indonesia, it was possible to mobilize funds when different municipal governments take ownership of participatory planning processes at an early stage.

The local level is a key, yet an often overlooked, entry point to identifying community needs and, through participatory, multi-sectoral partnerships, to translate them into funded solutions.

In Moldova the regional government of Gagauzia assigned funds to create the region’s first safe space, with the support of the community.

The SVRI Forum was living proof that a better future is possible. It offered profound moments for thoughtful exchange, learning with partners and peers, and deepened our own reflections on the outcomes and next steps for this global project.

As we approach the final countdown to meeting the SDGs, including SDG5.2 on eliminating violence against women and girls, it has never been more urgent to take all this evidence and turn it into action against gender-based violence. Let’s act today.

Jacqui Stevenson is Research Consultant UNU International Institute for Global Health, Jessica Zimerman is Project Specialist, Gender-based Violence, UNDP, and Diego Antoni is Policy Specialist Gender, Governance and Recovery, UNDP.

Source: UNDP

IPS UN Bureau


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Africa’s Processing Industry Holds Promise for Broader Economic Growth

Abou Fumarou Mahamadou poses amid millet stalks dried in the sun. She belongs to a co-op of 32 women farmers in the commune of Tibiri in southwest Niger. Credit: Stephan Gladieu / World Bank

By Chakib Jenane
WASHINGTON DC, Nov 30 2022 – As a central pillar of African diets for thousands of years, millet has a prized position as one of the continent’s most important crops.

And with the onset of climate change, millet offers valuable security to the continent’s smallholder farmers due to the crop’s tolerance for dry soils.

Yet, the rise of an increasingly affluent urban middle class across Africa is threatening to shift diets away from traditional staples like millet in favor of higher-value and more convenient processed foods often sourced from outside the continent.

However, Africa’s homegrown processing industry can increasingly deliver more sophisticated products, turning unprocessed millet into nutritious ready-to-eat meals such as rice-like products, porridges, and more. This is a win-win for farmers and consumers alike.

Africa’s emerging agrifood processing industry clearly offers a major opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand for processed foods which, to date, has been met in large part by imported products.

Growing this sector can provide valuable opportunities for African livelihoods and economies across the region, all the while reducing the continent’s food import bill, which stands at roughly USD 35 billion a year.

Chakib Jenane

The recently released Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR) shows that Africa’s agrifood processing sector is the essential link in connecting the continent’s smallholder farmers to growing urban markets with changing preferences.

Still, the sector as it exists today is just the tip of the iceberg, and data from across the continent highlights its enormous untapped potential, particularly in terms of the long-cultivated staples.

For instance, the rise of the millet processing sector in Senegal has reversed declining consumption trends due to growing urban populations and their needs for quicker and more convenient staples.

The share of millet has risen to close to 30 percent of the cereal consumption of high-income earners in Senegal, roughly the same as imported rice.

The introduction of more sophisticated millet products has also opened up new market opportunities for smallholder producers, which, alongside rising demand, is boosting the prices they can expect to receive in markets.

This means not only greater economic growth for national economies, but greater spending power and more resilient livelihoods for Africa’s small-scale producers, too.

Another interesting case study is the tomato, the fourth most economically valuable food crop produced in low- and middle-income countries. Fresh tomato is often more accessible to small-scale processors than larger plants, leaving significant potential to develop greater value products.

As a result, the rise of Africa’s processing sector is introducing new opportunities for tomato production by helping to add value and reduce post-harvest losses, stabilizing supplies for consumers throughout the year, while ensuring steady revenue streams for producers.

Meanwhile, some African countries are already seizing on the vast opportunities offered by their processing sectors to deliver a double win for economies and livelihoods.

Roughly 68 percent of Tanzania’s manufacturing exports, for instance, are agri-processed and resource-intensive goods, such as bottled juices, cooking oils, and packaged flours. A large majority of these goods are also being shipped to other African countries, demonstrating how greater agri-food processing capacity on the continent can meet African demand with African processed products.

This not only replaces demand for intercontinental imports, but equally ensures the benefits of processing for producers and consumers remain in Africa to deliver economic growth for future generations.

The growth of Africa’s agrifood processing sector clearly offers sustainable income-generating opportunities for the continent’s smallholder farmers through higher-value products that appeal to changing urban markets.

It also offers many prospects for jobs creation for the continent’s growing youth population – the fastest growing in the world.

With African food tastes and dietary preferences evolving, so too must its agrifood industry if it wishes to stay competitive, successful, and sustainable, delivering growth and improved livelihoods for millions.

Unlocking the potential of the continent’s processing sector, in particular, offers a clear path forward to achieving this goal.

Chakib Jenane joined the World Bank Group in 2014 and is currently Practice Manager for the Agriculture and Food Practice covering West and Central Africa.

IPS UN Bureau


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HIV Prevention: New Injection Could Boost the Fight, But Some Hurdles Remain

Now that injectable PrEP is an option, it’s poised to make a huge difference in HIV prevention – as long as some key issues can be overcome

Access to PrEP has been slow and mostly limited to high income countries. Some countries, like Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, and Nigeria, have been more proactive than others, but it is still hard for many to get PrEP. Credit: Shutterstock

By External Source
Nov 30 2022 – While the world has focused on the COVID pandemic for nearly three years, less and less attention is being paid to HIV. However, HIV is still a global problem. In 2021, according to the United Nations, 38.4 million people were living with HIV, over 650,000 died from AIDS-related illnesses, and 1.5 million became newly infected.

Nearly 70% of infections occur in key groups: sex workers and their clients, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and transgender people and their sexual partners. Adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa are another important group, with nearly 5,000 getting HIV every week.

For many years, options for HIV prevention were quite limited. Early campaigns consisted of the ABCs – abstinence, being faithful, and condoms. In the early 2000s, male circumcision was added, but multiple attempts at developing a vaccine have been disappointing.

When taken regularly, PrEP is highly effective in preventing HIV infection and very safe. PrEP was seen as a game-changer by enabling people to take charge of their sexual health, particularly for those who could not necessarily control when or how they had sex

In 2012, however, much excitement surrounded the introduction of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. The initial form of PrEP was a combination oral pill consisting of two medications used to treat HIV – emtricitabine and tenofovir. When taken regularly, PrEP is highly effective in preventing HIV infection and very safe. PrEP was seen as a game-changer by enabling people to take charge of their sexual health, particularly for those who could not necessarily control when or how they had sex.

Oral PrEP has worked well for many, particularly for men who have sex with men in high income settings and for serodifferent couples (couples in which one person has HIV and the other does not).

For others – like young people – it’s hard to take a pill consistently during periods of risk for getting HIV. The interest is there, but lots of things get in the way. Some relate to the person, like forgetfulness, transport to a clinic, and alternative priorities. Other factors relate to stigma and lack of support.

PrEP administered via a vaginal ring is another safe option that’s been developed. It’s not yet clear how many people will want to use it as it becomes more widely available.

Access to PrEP has been slow and mostly limited to high income countries. Some countries, like Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, and Nigeria, have been more proactive than others, but it is still hard for many to get PrEP.

Now that injectable PrEP is an option, it’s poised to make a huge difference in HIV prevention – as long as some key issues can be overcome.


Benefits of injectable PrEP

The latest version of PrEP is an injection of another HIV drug – cabotegravir (called CAB-LA for cabotegravir-long acting). It is given in the buttocks and lasts for two months. It is even more effective than oral PrEP and it’s safe.

Another injectable drug – lenacapavir – would only need to be given once every six months, and would be easier to inject because it only needs to go into the skin; but it is still in clinical trials.

In many ways, injectable PrEP seems like a perfect solution. It’s discreet, there’s no burden of frequent pill taking, and it can be combined with other services and injections, like contraception for women. People in the CAB-LA trials in many parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa, South America, and the US, really liked it. Although some public health officials and healthcare workers have worried about the pain and any swelling due to the injection itself, most people do very well.


Drawbacks of injectable PrEP

Several issues, however, may get in the way of injectable PrEP revolutionising HIV prevention.

First, most people can’t get it. The United States was the first country to approve CAB-LA in December 2021. The next was Zimbabwe in October 2022. The necessary paperwork is being processed in other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but regulatory processes are slow and access is likely be to a challenge for some time.

Second, it’s expensive. CAB-LA is priced at over $22,000 per person per year in the US. It could be covered to some extent by health insurance companies, but not everyone has health insurance. The drug manufacturer will lower the price for the markets in low- and middle-income countries, but the exact cost is not yet known. Some estimates are around $250 per person per year. That’s still about five times as much as oral PrEP costs. The increased effectiveness may be worth it for people at high risk of getting HIV, but getting it to those people will be challenging for ministries of health.

Third, logistical issues complicate delivery of injectable PrEP, including the need for refrigerators to store the drug and nurses to give the injections. Clinics may not be set up to provide many injections in a given day, and limited availability may mean people can’t get the shots when they need them.

Finally, continuing to get injections over time is still likely to be a problem. The experience with injectable contraception has taught us that up to half of people who select that form of family planning stop it within a year. Injectable PrEP does not solve the other barriers people face, like transport to clinic and prioritisation of HIV prevention.

The lack of access raises important ethical concerns. Most of the thousands of people in the CAB-LA trials live in countries without access to it, including Botswana, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe among others. Processes to enable access are unacceptably slow, although the drug is available in the US (and just recently Zimbabwe).


Where to go from here?

Despite these challenges, injectable PrEP is a huge advantage for the HIV prevention toolbox. Choice is critical for most interventions to work, and HIV prevention is no different. PrEP use increases when people are given effective options and can choose what works best for them.

PrEP needs to be easier for people to take, for instance by making it more convenient and less medical. Programmes are starting to do this through community delivery. That approach may be more challenging with injections, but it may get easier with time and with injections in the skin, like lenacapavir.

Advocacy will be critical for expediting the regulatory process and negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to license other companies to produce more affordable generics.The Conversation

Jessica Haberer, Director of Research, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Putting Nature on a Quantifiable, Ambitious Path to Recovery

A blue sea star (Linckia laevigata) photographed on a largely dead coral reef on the Coral Coast on Fiji's largest island Viti Levu. IPBES estimates that nearly one-third of reefs are threatened with extinction. Credit: Tom Vierus / Climate Visuals

A blue sea star (Linckia laevigata) photographed on a largely dead coral reef on the Coral Coast on Fiji’s largest island Viti Levu. IPBES estimates that nearly one-third of reefs are threatened with extinction. Credit: Tom Vierus / Climate Visuals

By Joyce Chimbi
Nairobi, Nov 30 2022 – Up to 1 million species are threatened with extinction – many within decades – this includes nearly one-third of reef-forming corals, shark relatives, and marine mammals. Half of agricultural expansion occurs at the expense of forests, and 85% of wetlands that were present at the beginning of the 18th century had been lost by the year 2000, with the loss of wetlands considered to be happening three times faster, in percentage terms, than forest loss.

Dr Anne Larigauderie, the Executive Secretary of IPBES. Credit: IPBES

Dr Anne Larigauderie, the Executive Secretary of IPBES. Credit: IPBES

Speaking to IPS ahead of UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) about the urgent need to accelerate measures to stop biodiversity loss, Dr Anne Larigauderie, the Executive Secretary of IPBES, says the loss we hear about is just the tip of the iceberg.

“In 2019, IPBES alerted the world that a million species of plants and animals, out of an estimated total of eight million, now face extinction, many within decades. A third of coral reefs are threatened with extinction. Nature is being deteriorated at a rate and scale that is unprecedented in human history,” she cautions.

She said that the very first reason to conserve and use biodiversity sustainably is because this is the right thing to do from a moral and ethical standpoint, “it should not be to the purview of one species, the human species, to destroy the non-human species on our shared planet. But an important more selfish second reason is that conserving and using biodiversity sustainably are also a matter of ensuring human existence and good quality of life.”

Biodiversity is central to human development, and its conservation is critical to people in every corner of the world. Fifty thousand wild species, according to IPBES, meet the needs of billions of people worldwide, providing food, cosmetics, shelter, clothing, medicine, and inspiration.

One in five people rely on wild plants, algae and fungi for their food and income; 2.4 billion rely on fuel wood for cooking, and about 90 percent of the 120 million people working in capture fisheries are supported by small-scale fishing.

This is just part of the material contribution Larigauderie says biodiversity makes to humanity, along with innumerable non-material and regulating contributions such as maintaining the quality of air and soil, the control of emerging diseases and the pollination of crops.

Against this backdrop, Larigauderie says COP 15, which will be held in Montreal, Canada, December 7-19, sets the stage for a new Global Biodiversity Framework, hoped to be a quantifiable and well-resourced plan that is meant to set the path to recovery of all life on Earth and the contributions it provides to people by 2030.

She speaks of the failed Aichi Biodiversity Targets 2011-2020, a strategic plan established to halt the loss of biodiversity and how none of the 20 targets agreed by governments for 2020 were fully achieved at the global level.

“COP15 is an opportunity to raise the bar—a renewal of the momentum of the ambitions for the global community. The most desirable outcome would be an agreement whose targets are supported by sufficient resources and quantified,” she emphasises.

For instance, Aichi target 11 called for the effective protection of 17 percent of land and inland waters and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas; now she says, “the bar is raised significantly in the new draft framework, to 30 percent to be protected by 2030. It is challenging but possible with adequate financial means.”

In addition to the 30%, measures need to be undertaken on the 70% which is not under protection. The text, therefore, includes targets to integrate biodiversity in key economic sectors, such as agriculture, fishing, and economic and financial systems, to decrease their impact on biodiversity.

IPBES research reveals that half of agricultural expansion occurs at the expense of forests. Credit: Joyce Chimbi/IPS

IPBES research reveals that half of agricultural expansion occurs at the expense of forests. Credit: Joyce Chimbi/IPS

“Agriculture represents one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss because it competes for land with nature, and because it pollutes nature. Governments could help farmers to transition to agroecological practices that are more respectful of nature,” she observes.

Science, she adds, can inform transitions to new sustainable pathways for agriculture, fishing, and food systems, among others, to help conserve and sustainably use biodiversity. Larigauderie stresses the great need to transition into these new pathways for the good of nature and people for present and future generations.

She also emphasises the need to support developing countries that are now expected to develop while protecting their biodiversity, unlike their more developed counterparts, who ensured their development by leveraging their natural resources.

Speaking about the just-concluded UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), Larigauderie said it is critical to recognise and act on the interlinkages between climate change and biodiversity loss. Research has established that climate change is a major driver of biodiversity loss.

“It is very important for the climate change community to take biodiversity into account. The topic of biodiversity is still very low on the agenda of climate change discussions. Yet, we know there can never be long-term solutions for climate change without better treatment of nature,” she says.

“Moreover, some measures proposed to mitigate climate change are harmful to biodiversity, exacerbating ongoing biodiversity crisis and ultimately the climate change crisis.”

She says these measures can include growing biofuel crops, also known as energy crops, such as sugarcane and soybeans, on a large scale to avoid using fossil fuels. Initially, such crops were meant to be grown on marginal lands.

But with very few marginal lands left, pieces of natural ecosystems are being converted into farmland, often for short-term profit, which in turn does further harm to biodiversity.

Another example of a strategy to combat climate change at the expense of biodiversity, she says, can be tree planting schemes. Rather than working to reduce emissions, “people contribute money for tree planting schemes to offset their carbon footprint. People plant trees and continue to do business as usual.”

“Tree planting schemes can also cause social problems where indigenous people are displaced or ecological problems where trees are planted without factoring in ecological principles such as planting trees that require a lot of water in dry areas, causing serious water scarcity.”

Instead, it is important to implement solutions that take both crises into account and combat climate change and biodiversity loss together.

As governments from around the world gather at COP 15, it is a vital chance to step up for nature. Doing so will call on the global community to leverage the established post-2020 biodiversity framework. The outcome could well be a framework to transform society’s relationship with biodiversity, heal the planet and ensure a sustainable existence for humankind.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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Tech.AD USA Awards First Place in the Sensor and Perception Category to LeddarTech for Its LeddarVision ADAS and AD Software

QUEBEC CITY, Nov. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — LeddarTech , a global leader in providing the most flexible, robust and accurate ADAS and AD software technology, is pleased to announce that its LeddarVision low–level sensor fusion and perception solution received the highly coveted Sensor Perception award at Tech.AD USA on November 14, 2022 in Detroit. This event, the leading knowledge exchange platform in North America, brings together major stakeholders who play an active role in the vehicle automation scene. Among all applications submitted, the best nine projects were nominated by an international jury of experts for the final round covering three distinct categories.

On display at the show was the LeddarCar, LeddarTech's live on–road demonstration vehicle equipped with the LeddarVision software. LeddarVision is a high–performance, sensor–agnostic automotive–grade solution that delivers highly accurate 3D environmental models enabling Level 2–5 autonomy. During the event, LeddarTech's technical experts demonstrated how low–level fusion technology simplifies complex sensor sets and eliminates the dependency on hardware to provide customers the flexibility to scale and deliver greater ADAS and AD performance quickly.

"The winners have set a new standard for innovation and creative technology within the autonomous driving industry," said Davina Thalmann, Producer of Tech.AD USA 2022. "This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity and vision of the creators. Being able to present the future in real time is an absolute privilege," she added.

"This award adds to the incredible international peer recognition that LeddarTech has received for our sensor fusion and perception software solution," stated Mr. Charles Boulanger, CEO of LeddarTech. "This year, our LeddarVision technology was also recognized by the Volkswagen Group Innovation Tel Aviv 2022 Konnect and CARIAD Startup Challenge, as well as the Shenzhen Automotive Electronics Industry Association," Mr. Boulanger continued. "I am also proud of the corporate accolades we have been privileged to receive, distinguished as one of the “Fastest Growing Companies of the Year 2022” by the CEO Views committee and named “one of Canada's Top Growing Companies” by the Globe and Mail's Report on Business. Awards serve as recognition to our teams worldwide who are committed to developing solutions that enhance safety and support our customers with integrity and passion," he concluded.

About LeddarTech

LeddarTech, a global software company founded in 2007, develops and provides comprehensive perception solutions that enable the deployment of ADAS and autonomous driving applications. LeddarTech's automotive–grade software applies AI and computer vision algorithms to generate highly accurate 3D models of the environment, allowing for better decision making and safer navigation. This high–performance, scalable, cost–effective technology is leveraged by OEMs and Tier 1–2 suppliers for the efficient implementation of automotive and off–road vehicle solutions.

LeddarTech is responsible for several remote–sensing innovations, with over 140 patents granted or applied for that enhance ADAS and AD capabilities. Reliable perception is critical in making global mobility safer, more efficient, sustainable and affordable: this is what drives LeddarTech to become the most widely adopted sensor fusion and perception software solution.

Additional information about LeddarTech is accessible at www.leddartech.com and on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Daniel Aitken, Vice–President, Global Marketing, Communications and Investor Relations, LeddarTech Inc.
Tel.: + 1–418–653–9000 ext. 232 daniel.aitken@leddartech.com

Investor relations contact and website: InvestorRelations@leddartech.com

Leddar, LeddarTech, LeddarSteer, LeddarEngine, LeddarVision, LeddarSP, LeddarCore, LeddarEcho, VAYADrive, VayaVision, XLRator and related logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of LeddarTech Inc. and its subsidiaries. All other brands, product names and marks are or may be trademarks or registered trademarks used to identify products or services of their respective owners.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a85bc5a0–ac25–471f–9cce–43c1b03ef374

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Legal Recognition of East African Sign Languages Key Towards Inclusion

The United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) require the governments to remove all barriers to information access – including
those faced by Deaf persons. Credit: UNCRPD

By Timothy Egwelu
KAMPALA, Nov 30 2022 – Since the onset of the Covid19 pandemic, at least two deaf people were shot and killed in Uganda by state law enforcement officers. Their ‘crime’ was being deaf and uneducated. Their inability to hear or comprehend Covid19 containment measures communicated in English led to their death.

This is despite the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) and its reporting mechanisms requiring the governments to remove all barriers to information access – including those faced by Deaf persons. Deaf people are a linguistic minority – with sign language being their primary language of communication. In Uganda, 1 in 30 people are deaf.

We must ensure that sign language interpreters play an essential part in economic, social and political events, so that deaf persons can actively and meaningfully participate public life. Many people assume that all deaf persons understand advanced written grammar. This is not the case, as English (or any other language) and Sign Language grammar are distinct

Kenya and Uganda have both taken initial steps to legally recognize sign language in the Constitution and have begun to include sign language in official communications. Kenya, for example, has expanded healthcare services by providing interpreters in hospitals. But the fact that deaf people and their issues are still regarded a minority and neglected is all the proof we need to show that we have a long way to go.

Countries in the East African community must redouble their efforts to implement their inclusion laws, and legally recognize their sign languages in all sectors. Additionally, they must take on the costs of sign language interpretation in public sectors. This will be a big step towards building the inclusive East African community that we all seek. Until then, we in the Deaf community, continue to suffer discrimination.

As a first step, we must ensure that sign language interpreters play an essential part in economic, social and political events, so that deaf persons can actively and meaningfully participate public life. Many people assume that all deaf persons understand advanced written grammar. This is not the case, as English (or any other language) and Sign Language grammar are distinct.

To aid deaf persons in deciphering spoken and written language, sign language interpreters are needed. Nonetheless, their services are expensive, costing an average of $40 daily for these services. Consider this alongside the fact that 41% of Ugandans live on less than $1.90 a day. These services are indeed out of reach for majority of the deaf and hard of hearing community in the country.

We’re seeing some progress. In Uganda, there have been sustained television campaigns on the need to expand access to information and services through sign language. It is envisaged that through this campaign, more Ugandans will be aware of their rights and that it will in turn move political decision makers to speed up the approval of the Draft Guidelines to Television Access by the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance. These will provide structures towards implementation.

The other EAC countries are yet to officially recognize their sign languages. This results in the perpetuation of human rights exclusions and abuses of deaf persons. These countries must therefore fulfill their obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which promotes the full integration of persons with disabilities in societies.

While it could be argued that there are indeed legal and policy frameworks in Uganda and the EAC countries that ensure access to information; this largely remains on paper and is not in practice, particularly for deaf persons. Consider that healthcare facilities, educational institutions and government offices have inaccessible formats of information and a lack of sign language interpreters. Additionally, television – both for information and entertainment purposes, is largely exclusive to the hearing world.

Additionally, consider the value and importance of Sign language interpretation of court proceedings to an accused Deaf person. Certainly, interpretation is the only means of ensuring proper understanding and participation in the trial, yet it is not always readily available. Access to justice has been denied to many deaf persons in many unreported cases. Deaf persons are therefore largely sidelined and suffer widespread injustices.

Countries in the EAC should therefore urgently shift towards implementation of their national and international laws on inclusion. They must legally recognize their sign languages and mainstream them into all sectors. Additionally, they must take on the costs of sign language interpretation in public sectors. This will be a big step towards building the inclusive East African community that we all seek. Until then, we in the Deaf community, continue to suffer discrimination.

Timothy is a Deaf lawyer and a disability inclusion specialist in Uganda. He is an Aspen New Voices 2022 Fellow and founder of Stein Law and Advocacy for the Deaf.

Conagen develops high-purity non-GMO sulforaphane by bioconversion

Bedford, Mass., Nov. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Expanding on its portfolio of innovative nutritional products through biotechnology, Conagen, announced the development of its 99% high–purity sulforaphane. Made by a proprietary bioconversion technology, the company plans to begin the commercialization path in 2023. Conagen's bioconversion methods enable the production of sustainable products from many naturally occurring compounds regardless of rarity or small quantities occurring in nature.

"As a supplement product, Conagen's high–purity sulforaphane is appealing to consumers as the levels found in raw vegetables are too low to realize many of its promising health benefits," said Casey Lippmeier, Ph.D., senior vice president of innovation. "We're looking forward to expanding the nutritional market by commercializing sulforaphane in 2023."

Sulforaphane has been associated with supporting health benefits against cancer, diabetes, digestion, and heart disease and promoting cognition. With biotechnology and biomanufacturing advancements, much like Conagen's bioconversion technology, more nutritional offerings are produced at a high–quality and global scale.

Sulforaphane is found in cruciferous vegetables such as arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, radish, and more. In these vegetables, the inactive form of glucoraphanin belongs to the glucosinolate family of plant compounds. The sulfur–rich sulforaphane is activated only when vegetables are chewed or chopped to release myrosinase, a class of enzymes that play a role in the defense response of plants.

"Through Conagen's bioconversion technology, we're uncovering the great potential in sulforaphane as a powerful active health ingredient for consumers who are personalizing nutrition to support health functions," said Lippmeier. "We can make safe and high–quality nutritional ingredients from natural sources and offer it at a global–scale cost–competitively so that brands may pass on the good health and savings to their consumers."

Conagen's sulforaphane is ideal for non–GMO supplement solutions to formulate products with a sustainable and natural consumer appeal. More research is emerging for understanding the optimistic effects on multiple health functions. As one example of many, biotechnology and biomanufacturing will continue to harness the power of biology and nature to develop and deliver solutions for better nutrition, health, and wellness. Conagen is expanding its sustainable, nutritional products portfolio to better humankind and the planet.


About Conagen
Conagen is making the impossible possible. Our scientists and engineers use modern synthetic biology tools to program micro–organisms and enzymes on a molecular level to produce high–quality, sustainable, natural products manufactured worldwide via precision fermentation and bioconversion. We focus on the bioproduction of high–value ingredients for food, nutrition, flavors and fragrances, pharmaceuticals, and renewable materials.


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