30 things you did not know about Dominica

Roseau, Sept. 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Commonwealth of Dominica is a small island located in the Caribbean between Martinique and Guadeloupe. Tourists marvel at the crystal blue ocean views and tropical humid climate, there is an abundance of discovery on the Nature Isle of the Caribbean.

Explore 30 interesting facts about the magical island of Dominica!

Cultural history

1. Dominica was named by Christopher Columbus

Prior to Christopher Columbus' arrival on the island, the Caribbean settlers named it Watikbuli, meaning "Tall is her Body'. In 1493, Christopher arrived on the island and named it Domingo, which means Sunday, the day which he discovered the island.

2. Dominica has an interesting motto

The motto is French, "Aprs le Bon Dieu, c'est la Terre', translated to English as "After God, the Earth', Dominica eloquently displays its natural beauty.

3. Dominica is a republic in the Commonwealth

The Nature Isle gained its independence on 3 November 1978 and celebrates this day annually with vibrant national festivities. These include cultural markets, music festivals, and beauty pageants.

4. The National Anthem is titled "Isle of Beauty, Isle of Splendour'

Dominica's national anthem was written by Wilfred Oscar Morgan, with the music composed by Lemuel McPherson Christian OBE, after receiving statehood in 1967.

5. Government system

As a parliamentary democratic republic nation, The Executive branch of government has a President and Prime Minister, whereby nominees are elected in consultation with the opposition leader. The two–party system, with the ruling Dominica Labour Party and the opposition party, the United Worker's Party.

All Dominican adult citizens may cast their ballots every five years during the government elections.

6. Dominica's President, His Excellency, the Honourable Charles Savarin

Elected as Dominica's eighth president in October 2013, Honourable Charles Savarin is a member of the Dominica Labour Party. He received his nomination from Prime Minister, Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, who has been the head of government since August 2004. Previously, His Excellency, Honourable Savarin was a teacher, trade unionist, parliamentarian, diplomat, and government minister.

7. English Common Law system

Dominica's constitution includes the right to life, personal liberty, and freedom of expression, which follows one–third of the world's English Common Law. The hierarchy of Dominica's court starts from the Magistrate Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, and lastly The Court of Appeal the Privy Council.

8. Dominica's small population of 72,412

The population of Dominica is currently sitting at 72,414, making it the 11th least–populated nation in the world.

9. The Dominican flag is one of only two national flags with the colour purple

Out of all the nations in the world, Dominica's national flag is one of only two national flags to incorporate the colour purple. The other is the Nicaraguan national flag. The Dominican national flag features a Sisserou Parrot that has purple feathers on the underside and the crown.

Geographical landscape

10. The island is also known as the Nature Isle of the Caribbean

Dominica's spectacular natural beauty is oftentimes affectionately known as "The Nature Isle of the Caribbean." The vast amount of the island is covered in lush forests. Year–round visitors can experience wondrous waterfalls and mud ponds. Indigenous rainforest animals and insects such as parrots, iguanas and rare butterflies make up some of the phenomenal fauna.

11. The national flowers for Dominica

The Sabinea carinalis, warmly known as the "Bwa Kwaib' or the Carib Wood. Is the indigenous wild xerophytic plant. In bloom, it exhibits bright scarlet flowers from its branches. It is said to represent the longevity of the Dominican youth.

12. The National Bird of Dominica is the Sisserou Parrot

The national bird of Dominica the Sisserou (Amazona Imperialis), "The Pride of Dominica" is found on the country's emblems such as the Coat of Arms, the National Flag, the Public Seal, The Mace of the House of Assembly and Dominica's Honours for Meritorious Service. The imperial parrot is endemic to Dominica's dense mountainous rainforests. This shy and yet attractive indigenous bird has resided on the island for numerous thousands of years and can live over 70 years of age. The bird is an endangered species and is under preservation.

13. Dominica is the only country in the world where sperm whales reside year–round!

Sperm whales have called Dominica's waters their home, and it is extremely likely to spot them swimming in pods, as whales and dolphins live close to shore throughout the year.

14. The Island is home to the Giant Ditch Frog known as the "mountain chicken"

Dominicans refer to the frog as the "mountain chicken" due to its legs imitating drumsticks. The frog used to be a delicacy as a national dish and is now under conservation to preserve the species.

15. Home to the Caribbean's first long–distance hiking trail

The Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT) is the first long–distance hiking trail in the Caribbean. It is estimated to be 183 km long and is split into 14 sections. The trail was built between 2007 and 2012, the route crosses through Dominica and traverses some of the country's most spectacular terrain. It will take a minimum of two weeks to complete the hiking trail.

16. Dominica is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Morne Trois Pitons National Park is the exclusive Heritage Site in Dominica and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. This national park is situated in the southern half of the island and contains many of Dominica's most spectacular attractions including the Titou Gorge, Boeri, Freshwater Lakes, the Boiling Lake, and the Middleham Falls. The Morne Trois Pitons National Park covers roughly 9 per cent of Dominica's land area.

17. Dominica has practised herbal medicine for centuries

The original inhabitants of the island, the Caribs, and later Africans, brought with them thorough knowledge of plants and herbs. This knowledge has been passed down through generations and many herbs like Moringa, Basil and Dandelion are still used today for medicinal purposes, usually referred to as "bush medicine."

Economic features of Dominica

18. Dominica's main industries

The country's main industries are agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. Over 20 per cent of the island's land is arable and under cultivation, with bananas traditionally serving as Dominica's largest export. Although Dominica has recently increased the production of other fruits, as well as vegetables and coffee beans.

Dominica's tourism sector continues to steadily grow, with the alluring nature attracting an estimated 200,000 holidaymakers annually. The island's manufacturing industry primarily depends on raw materials from the agricultural sector, where in–demand exports include coconut soap, ceramics and shoes.

19. Dominica's official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD)

Dominica introduced the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (ECD) currency in 1965, which is used in another seven countries in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Foreign currencies including the euro and dollar are also accepted as tender. It is also pegged to the US dollar at a rate of US$1 to ECD (East Caribbean Dollar) $2.70. As Dominica is a member of the Commonwealth, all banknotes and coins feature an image of King Charles III.

20. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Dominica

The World Bank recorded the island's GDP had an outstanding US$612,048,148 in financial year 2022.

21. Investors can acquire Citizenship of Dominica by Investment

Investors in Dominica tend to seek citizenship through investment opportunities around the country. When visitors officially become Dominican citizens, they can develop businesses, work, relocate and extend their citizenship to their family members.

Dominica's CBI Programme received first in the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) initiative for six consecutive years by the CBI Index.

22. English is Dominica's official language

English is universally spoken in Dominica and UK English spelling is used. Dominican Creole (an Antillean Creole derived from French), and French Patois are spoken amongst the locals. This is because of the long history of French migration to the island as well as Dominica's location between two French–speaking countries; Martinique and Guadeloupe.

23. Christian religious practices

Christianity is the most common religion in Dominica, practised by over 90 per cent of the population. However, religious freedom is enshrined in the Constitution of Dominica so inhabitants can follow alternative faiths if they so choose, such as Rastafarianism.

24. Cricket is the most popular sport in Dominica

Many Dominican cricketers play for the West Indies cricket team internationally. Shane Shillingford and Adam Sanford are two of the most notable cricketers from Dominica.

25. The capital city of Dominica is Roseau

The largest city in Dominica it is located on the Southwest coast of the country and is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, the Morne Bruce Hill and the Roseau River. Filled with lively markets, 18th–century French architecture and famous landmarks like the Roseau Cathedral and the Morne Bruce Cross.

26. The Main Airport is Douglas–Charles Airport

Formerly known as Melville Hall Airport, Douglas""Charles Airport is Dominica's largest of the country's two airports. Douglas""Charles Airport operates both passenger and cargo planes to other destinations in the Eastern Caribbean region.

27. Dominica is on a quest to be the world's first climate–resilient nation

The Government of Dominica has called on investors around the world to assist in the development of sustainable and robust industries and infrastructure. This is an exclusive opportunity to implement the latest technologies and developmental approaches. Dominica aims to be at the forefront of tackling climate change challenges.

28. Unique rivers for each day of the year

Apart from breathtaking beaches and volcanoes, Dominica has over 365 rivers! While some are cool and clear, others are cloudy and fast. All the rivers are surrounded by exotic plants and flowers. The Indian River is the widest on the island, and many visitors choose this river to explore the rivers for the first time.

29. There are nine active volcanoes in Dominica

Dominica has the highest concentration of volcanoes in the world, with approximately nine active volcanoes. Eruptions are very rare, and the last volcanic eruption was in 1997 and the one before that was in 1880.

The highest mountain and volcano are Morne Diablotins, and it is a magical sight. Adventurists can take a six–hour hike to reach the top where neighbouring islands, Martinique and Guadeloupe can be seen from the top.

30. Many of Dominica's beaches are covered in black sand

The volcanoes in Dominica influence the colour of beautiful black–sand beaches. Some of the most famous black sand beaches in Dominica include the Number One Beach, Mero Beach, and Rosalie Bay Beach.

GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8919129)

World’s Richest Countries Must Set More Ambitious Climate Change Goals, Report Finds

Patient Kyahi, principal of Sake Elementary School, in front of the blackboard in his mud-filled classroom in Sake, a village located 27 km from the city of Goma, North Kivu province in DRC. Credit: Sibylle Desjardins / Climate Visuals

Patient Kyahi, principal of Sake Elementary School, in front of the blackboard in his mud-filled classroom in Sake, a village located 27 km from the city of Goma, North Kivu province in DRC. Credit: Sibylle Desjardins / Climate Visuals

By Abigail Van Neely and Naureen Hossain
NEW YORK, Sep 8 2023 – Individually and collectively, member countries of the G20 are falling far behind in their greenhouse gas reduction goals and are failing to make the significant cuts on emissions that would be needed to keep global temperatures low, despite possessing the technological and financial capabilities for reducing emissions.

And with the hottest summer on record ending, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres says, “climate breakdown has begun.”

G20 countries, which have both the largest economies and highest amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, committed to reducing emissions by 2030 to limit global heating. A new paper from Oxfam finds that their goals are not ambitious enough.

“G20 countries – both collectively, and almost all of them individually – are failing to achieve their fair share of ambitious global mitigation required to limit global heating to 1.5℃,” Oxfam reports, noting that 63 percent of the world’s population lives in the G20 countries, producing 78 percent of greenhouse gasses. The amount of carbon dioxide emitted yearly by each person in these countries must be cut in half by 2030 to stay on target. However, current plans are not on track to meet the global goal.

According to Oxfam, “richer G20 nations are performing worst of all.”

Oxfam notes that high-income countries have focused on increasing the climate efforts of low and middle-income countries without addressing their own failures to pledge to do their share. For instance, to proportionally contribute to reducing global emissions, the United States would have to enhance its current reduction target by an additional 240 percent. Oxfam determined these shortfalls using three different measurement tools that assess the fairness and ambition of countries’ current reduction targets.

“The richest G7 and G20 countries need to ramp up their own domestic climate ambition and radically increase climate finance to make up for historic emissions. This is not only a matter of equity – without it, we will never achieve the life-saving goals of the Paris Agreement,” Oxfam climate change policy lead, Nafkote Dabi, said.

The G20 members, which include high-income countries such as the United States, Australia, and Germany, account for 78 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. High-income are emitting the equivalent of 7.4 to 7.7 tons of CO2 on average per person. The Oxfam report indicates that their emissions need to be reduced by half – 2.9 to 3.8 tons – by 2030. It reflects a failure in their domestic pledges in their countries and their international commitments. Overall, the high-income countries were found to be among the worst emitters of greenhouse gases per annum.

A lack of financing has prevented many countries from achieving their climate goals. According to Oxfam, middle-income countries like South Africa, China, and Mexico have both lower historic responsibility for climate change and less financial capabilities to address its effects.

Middle-income G20 countries, such as India, Türkiye, Indonesia, and South Africa, are currently emitting close to 6.1 to 6.3 tons of CO2 per person per year. They would need to reduce this to 4 to 5.8 tons of CO2 per person. The report observes that while they have also failed to meet their global mitigation ambitions, in certain cases, these countries lack the financing capacity to address these issues.

Therefore, these ‘developing’ countries could rightly seek out the climate financing contributions that would be needed to meet these pledges. This is where the high-income G20 members would also be able to comply with global mitigation by increasing their contributions to international climate finance, thereby supporting the mitigation efforts of middle-to-lower-income countries. Under the metrics for fair sharing of mitigation efforts, this would also allow them all to meet global mitigation levels.

The Oxfam report has been published at a critical time as world leaders gear up to converge at summits in which climate action will undoubtedly be on the agenda as they reassess their progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. The leaders of the G20 countries will be convening in India for the G20 Summit on 9-10 September.

Ahead of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in November, the G20 and other countries will be expected to present their upcoming climate action pledges for the Paris Agreement’s Global Stocktake for 2023. It will serve as a turning point where it will be determined whether they are on track to achieving the goals under the Paris Agreement.

There is also the upcoming Climate Ambition Summit on 20 September that the UN Secretary-General will convene amid the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. It will be expected that world governments, but especially major emitters, will present updated climate action plans and NDCs.

Ashfaq Khalfan, Oxfam America’s Director of Climate Justice, explains that countries in the global south need massive long-term investments to quickly replace fossil fuel energy with renewable energies. According to Khalfan, the current UN budget of USD 100 billion a year to fund all climate change projects is “a gross underestimate.” Adequate funding would be between 1 to 2 trillion dollars.

The UN predicts that if more ambitious action is not taken, there will be a 10 percent rise in emissions by 2030 instead of the 45 percent cut needed to reach the target of the Paris Agreement. If global heating rises beyond 1.5℃, Khalfan says, half a million people will face water insecurity, ecosystems will be destroyed, and there will be unprecedented levels of extreme heat. To avoid these risks, Khalfan suggests that the public become more radical about putting pressure on their governments to act, especially in high-income countries.

Guterres will have an opportunity to call out leaders whose climate pledges are insufficient when he attends the G20 summit in India this weekend. In November, countries will submit their latest climate action pledges at the UN Climate Summit in Dubai.

“Governments really need to basically say either we are accepting catastrophic climate change because we’re not willing to provide the resources, or we’re not willing to accept catastrophic climate change, and we’re willing to provide the resources. It has to be one or the other,” Khalfan said.

“With less than three months to go before this crucial climate stocktake is published, we call out the G20 for their failure of ambition and action. Unless G20 countries substantially improve their NDCs, they are effectively spelling ‘surrender’ in the face of the existential crisis of our times,” said Dabi.

“People living in poverty and in lower-income countries are suffering most. We look to the world’s super-emitters for solutions but find today their numbers simply don’t stack up.”

In the coming weeks, the world will be watching its leaders to see if they will be able to take the drastic but necessary actions to shoulder the responsibility of climate action.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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ECW’s New Report Shows Successful Education Funding Model for Crises-Impacted Children

Girls in an informal school in Idlib, Syria. This ECW-supported school is providing much-needed education and psychosocial support to children affected by years of brutal conflict and recent earthquakes. © UNICEF/Fricker

Girls in an informal school in Idlib, Syria. This ECW-supported school is providing much-needed education and psychosocial support to children affected by years of brutal conflict and recent earthquakes.
© UNICEF/Fricker

By Joyce Chimbi
UNITED NATIONS & NAIROBI, Sep 8 2023 – In a world set on fire by climate change and brutal conflict, millions of children in emergencies and protracted crises need educational support. Children in 48 out of 49 African countries are at high or extremely high risk of the impacts of climate change, particularly in the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea, Somalia, and Guinea Bissau.

We have reached catastrophic proportions of 224 million children today in conflict and other humanitarian crises in need of education support. Financial needs for education in emergencies within humanitarian appeals have nearly tripled over the last three years – from US$1.1 billion in 2019 to almost US$3 billion at the end of 2022. In 2022, only 30 percent of education requirements were funded, indicating a widening gap,” Education Cannot Wait (ECW) Executive Director Yasmine Sherif tells IPS.

Released today ahead of this month’s UN General Assembly and SDG Summit in New York, ECW’s ‘With Hope and Courage: 2022 Annual Results Report’ is a deep dive into the challenges, opportunities, key trends, and vast potential that “education for all” offers as nations across the globe race to deliver on the promises outlined in the SDG’s, Paris Agreement and other international accords.

Sherif stresses that as nations worldwide celebrate International Literacy Day – and the power of education to build sustainable and peaceful societies- ECW calls on world leaders to scale up financial support to reach vulnerable children in need, especially those furthest left behind. As more and more children are plunged into humanitarian crises, there is a widening funding gap as the needs have skyrocketed over recent years.

The report sends an urgent appeal for additional financing – featuring the latest trends in education in emergencies. It also shows the fund’s progress with UN and civil society partners in advancing quality education, particularly Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 for vulnerable girls and boys in humanitarian crises worldwide to access inclusive, quality, safe education.

“While the number of out-of-school children in situations of conflict, climate-induced disasters, and as refugees is skyrocketing – funding is not keeping up with the snowballing crisis. But even in these unfortunate circumstances, the report has a positive message. ECW and its global strategic partners have reached 8.8 million children with quality, holistic education since its 2016 inception and more than 4.2 million in 2022 alone. The only reason we have not reached more children is insufficient funding. We have mobilized over $1.5 billion to date, and we need another $670 million to reach 20 million children by the end of our 2023-2026 strategic plan,” she observes.

Sherif emphasizes that the global community must ensure that girls and boys impacted by armed conflicts, climate-induced disasters, and forced displacement are not left behind but rather placed at the forefront for an inclusive and continued quality education. Education is the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies.

“Our annual report demonstrates that it is possible to deliver safe, inclusive, quality education with proven positive learning outcomes in countries affected by conflict and to refugees. ECW has done it through strategic partnerships with host governments, government donors, the private sector, philanthropic foundations, UN agencies, civil society, local organizations, and other key stakeholders,” she explains.

“Together, we have delivered quality education to 9 million children and adolescents impacted by crises. The systems are in place, including a coordination structure; with more funding, we can reach more girls and boys in humanitarian crises around the world in places such as the Sahel, South Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Latin America and enable girls to access community-based secondary education in Afghanistan. We have a proven efficient and effective funding model of delivering the promise of education.”

ECW has thus far financed education programmes across 44 countries and crisis settings. Of the 4.2 million children reached in 2022, 21 percent were refugees, and 14 percent were internally displaced. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools across the globe, ECW repositioned its programming and supported distance learning, life-saving access to water and sanitation facilities, and other integrated supports – reaching an additional 32.2 million children.

ECW’s commitment to gender equality and tackling the gender gap in education is bearing fruit. Towards the fund’s goal of 60 percent girls reached in all its investments, girls represent over 50 percent of all children reached in 2022.

In 2022, ECW’s rapid First Emergency Responses to new or escalating crises included a strong focus on the climate crisis through grants for the drought in Eastern Africa and floods in Pakistan and Sudan. ECW also approved new funding in response to the war in Ukraine and renewed violence in the Lake Chad Region and Ethiopia.

“On scaling up funding for education, the report shows funding for education in emergencies was higher than ever before in 2022, and that total available funding has grown by more than 57 percent over just three years – from US$699 million in 2019 to more than US$1.1 billion in 2022,” Sherif explains.

With support from ECW’s key strategic donor partners – including Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as the top-three contributors among 25 in total, and visionary private sector partners like The LEGO Foundation – US$826 million was announced at the ECW High-Level Financing Conference in early 2023.

In addition, collective resource mobilization efforts from all partners and stakeholders at global, regional, and country levels helped unlock an additional US$842 million of funding for education in emergencies and protracted crises, which contributed to alignment with ECW’s Multi-Year Resilience Programmes in 22 countries.

To date, some of ECW’s largest and prospective bilateral and multilateral donors have not yet committed funding for the full 2023–2026 period, and there remains a gap in funding from the private sector, foundations, and philanthropic donors. In the first half of 2023, ECW faces a funding gap of approximately US$670 million to fully finance results under the Strategic Plan 2023–2026, which will reach 20 million children over the next three years.
IPS UN Bureau Report


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Safe, Regular & Orderly Migration for Inclusion and Sustainability

Shinkiari, Pakistan

By Vanessa Steinmayer and Simon Graham
BANGKOK, Thailand, Sep 8 2023 – In Asia and the Pacific, migration is again on the rise. In 2020, almost 109 million people lived in a country other than that of their birth. They represented 2.3 per cent of the region’s population in 2020 and almost 38 per cent of the world’s international migrants.

If managed properly, migration can benefit migrants, their families, as well as both the countries they come from and go to.

Growth in the international migrant stock in Asia and the Pacific and by subregion, 1990—2020

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2020). International Migrant Stock 2020.

Migration is largely a result of disparities

Development disparities are a key driver of international migration. Poverty, limited job opportunities, recently exacerbated by rising food and energy prices, and the prospect for higher wages abroad are main contributors to the decision to migrate.

Migrants work in jobs of all skill levels: construction and domestic workers, nurses, accountants, computer scientists, teachers and many others. Women are particularly engaged in domestic and care work.

Migration primarily occurs within the region. People often prefer to migrate to countries with geographic and cultural proximity. The region features distinct migration corridors, such as from Central Asia to the Russian Federation, from Pacific islands to Australia or within South East Asia.

Temporary labour migration from Asia and the Pacific to the Middle East is significant too, with Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines as the main countries of origin. Overall, Asia and the Pacific is a hub for international migration; many countries are simultaneously countries of origin, destination and transit.

Millions of young people from the Asia-Pacific region also migrate to study abroad. After completing their degrees many of them gain work visas and employment in their country of destination, such as Australia or New Zealand.

Migration without choice

Other people have no choice but to migrate. They flee their countries due to war and conflict. In 2022, there were 31.6 million refugees from Asia and the Pacific under the mandate of UNHCR and 27.5 million of them were living in the region.

A total of 53 per cent of refugees from Asia-Pacific countries are female and 43 per cent are under 18 years old. Countries such as Bangladesh, Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, and Türkiye are among the largest host countries of refugees in the world for refugees from neighbouring countries in conflict. An increasing number of people migrate for environmental reasons and climate change because they see their livelihoods being destroyed.

Migration comes with a high cost for migrants

Despite the gains, migration comes at a high cost for migrants. Recruitment costs to private recruiters remain high. Some pay with their lives: Since 2014, every year, an estimated 4,000 deaths have been recorded worldwide on migration routes.

Each year, thousands of men and women fall prey to traffickers and smugglers, often for forced labour and sexual exploitation. Access to social services and protection, as well as rights, in destination countries often remain limited, particularly for workers classified as low skilled, including domestic workers. Women migrants are at higher risk of being abused and find limited access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Migrants are agents of development

Migrants typically send back cash or goods to support their families in their country of origin, known as remittances. In 2022, a total of $311 billion was sent to Asia and the Pacific as remittances, which support better housing, nutrition and better education for children. In countries of destination, migrants perform jobs that often could not be filled otherwise. Migrant workers are essential to many sectors in the economy, particularly in ageing societies.

Migration is an irreversible trend in the Asia-Pacific region. To harness the benefits, safe and low-cost pathways for regular migration are needed. There is also a need to address development disparities, conflict and environmental degradation to ensure that migration is people’s individual choice. Regional dialogue and cooperation on international migration is crucial to this end.

The Seventh Asian and Pacific Population Conference, organized by ESCAP and UNFPA, in Bangkok from 15 to 17 November 2023, will provide opportunities for policymakers, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to discuss key population and development issues.

The meeting’s outcome will provide the regional input to the global review of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) at the 57th session of the Commission on Population and Development, in 2024.

Vanessa Steinmayer is Population Affairs Officer, Social Development Division, ESCAP and Simon Graham is UNFPA Fellow on Population and Development.

IPS UN Bureau


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Diversify American Cropping and Food Systems

The time is ripe to transform American agriculture from monoculture heavy farming and food systems to diversified cropping and food systems with a variety of crops including specialty crops. Credit: Bigstock.

The time is ripe to transform American agriculture from monoculture heavy farming and food systems to diversified cropping and food systems with a variety of crops including specialty crops. Credit: Bigstock.

By Esther Ngumbi
URBANA, Illinois, USA, Sep 8 2023 – A few weeks ago, my husband and I drove from Illinois to Iowa to visit a friend. I was excited about my over 5 hours’ drive. Sadly, 60 minutes into the drive, my excitement fiddled out. I was bored.  Field after field, as far as my eyes could see, all I saw was either corn or soybean. I also noticed that the field margins were empty-with no sight of wildflowers.

Unfortunately, growing singular crop species, also known as monocropping, in which, all plants are genetically similar or identical over vast acres of land, is prevalent across the U.S. Midwest and North America because of current problematic policies that incentivizes the overproduction of crops such as corn, soybeans, cotton and wheat.

In 2023, for example, over 90 million of acres of corn and 82 million acres of soybean are being grown, accounting for almost over 70% of the planted farmland in the United States according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

In 2023, for example, over 90 million of acres of corn and 82 million acres of soybean are being grown, accounting for almost over 70% of the planted farmland in the United States according to the United States Department of Agriculture

Not only has this system resulted into the overproduction of a few crop species, it has also resulted in a biodiversity loss including a reduction in insect diversity.

In addition, monoculture cropping systems have led to increases of many unsustainable and environmental damaging practices by farmers including the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Furthermore, monocropping contributes to pollinators death and reduces the biodiversity of soil dwelling microorganisms, including beneficial soil microbes that underpin soil and crop health while harming the U.S. waterways. Undoubtedly, the current monocropping agricultural system prevalent in North America is unsustainable.

The time is ripe to diversify U.S. Midwest farms and farms across America. Diversified agriculture and farming systems are a set of methods and tools developed to produce food sustainably by leveraging ecological diversity at plot, field and landscape scales.

There are several strategies including incorporating diverse crop rotations, intercropping, cover cropping, and agroforestry.

Indeed, the time is ripe to transform American agriculture from monoculture heavy farming and food systems to diversified cropping and food systems with a variety of crops including specialty crops. The time is ripe to consider planting pollinator strips and filling the field margins with wildflowers. There are many benefits that can emerge if American agriculture were to diversify.

First, there is long-term evidence that shows that diversifying crop systems can increase agricultural resilience to the extremities and disturbances that come along with a changing climate including drought, heat waves, insect pest outbreaks and flooding.

Second, diversified cropping systems can improve soil fertility and soil health, lower pressure of pests and weeds.

Third, diversified agroecosystems will also become home to biologically diversified species including insect species that predate on insect pests. This will ultimately become a strategy to reduce the usage of harmful pesticides and support sustainable insect control.

Indeed, recent scientific evidence reaffirms that diversification promotes multiple ecosystem services including pollination, pest control and water regulation without compromising yields.

There is glimmer of hope that a wave of change is beginning.

Several agencies, including Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), the US Forest Service, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, are promoting different crop diversification strategies and highlighting the benefits that come with cropping systems diversification.

According to SARE, for example, diversifying cropping systems can lead to many benefits including spreading farmers economic risks, exploiting profitable niche markets and creating new industries based on agriculture that can make communities competitive while strengthening and enhancing quality of life, and ultimately, aid the domestic economy.

It is encouraging that research funding agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture are funding research aiming to diversify cropping systems in the Midwest and across America. Purdue University, for example, was awarded a $10 million grant to diversify the Corn Belt.  Corteva recently posted a call for proposals that propose novel solutions to enable intercropping practices for agricultural intensification.

Complementing funding is the beginning of curation of datasets and comprehensive meta-analysis studies documenting outcomes of diversified farming practices including for biodiversity, yields, and economic returns.

These datasets that also showcase diversification as a pathway to more sustainable agricultural production serve as a resource for researchers, farmers, and practitioners since they pinpoint where diversified systems have effectively contributed to sustainable food production outcomes without compromising the economic returns.

Of course, to facilitate the shift in paradigm from monocropping to diversified cropping systems, we must confront the barriers to cropping system diversification  including lack of equipment to facilitate farming of other crops and  lack of a niche market for alternative crops.

At the root of this wave of change is the need to change the agricultural policies to promote diversified farming. Removing commodity crop subsides and reallocating the money to farms that practice diversified farming is one strategy that can accomplish this.

Changing these systems will take everyone including farmers, legislators, scientists, and advocates.

Diversifying America’s cropping and food systems is critical to meeting American food security needs and strengthening it in the face of climate change. Diversifying American agriculture will also help in keeping America as a model country to be emulated. It is a win-win for everyone.


Twenty Years on from the UN Bombing in Baghdad, What’s Changed?

A partial view of the exterior of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, that was destroyed by a truck bomb on August 19, 2003. Credit: UN Photo/Timothy Sopp

By Khaled Mansour
NEW YORK, Sep 8 2023 – Twenty years ago this month, a colleague saved me from a likely gruesome death. He insisted I stay in his Baghdad office of the World Food Programme (WFP) for a hot drink. “You can’t leave us without trying the tea I made for you! The best in Iraq.”

I drove back to my office half an hour later than scheduled. Near the grim building of the Canal Hotel, the UN headquarters in the Iraqi capital, I caught sight of a column of smoke and a grey cloud forming on the horizon.

A tragedy was unfolding. People were shouting and crying, while dust, sweat and the scent of molten iron irritated my eyes and nostrils. An American soldier stopped me, brandishing his weapon. He and his unit usually stood idly by their armoured vehicle, leaving the main entrance under the care of local security men. “Let me through, this is my office, I work here!!”

The soldiers didn’t speak or argue; they were tense and firm as they held their weapons in a ready position. What happened while I was away? Why couldn’t I get into my office? I felt an urge to force my passage through the soldiers, to enter the apocalyptic grounds.

Khaled Mansour

The gate at the back of the compound was open.

Inside, survivors were scattered, their faces pale and covered with a film of dust, sweat and blood. Many were sitting on the grass scorched by the summer heat in the spacious garden or on the grounds of the parking lot, staring into nothingness, while others trembled in tears as they embraced each other.

“Sérgio is dying,” cried a colleague before collapsing into my arms.

I slipped through a small back door and onto my office on the second floor. The broken glass of shattered windows crushed under my feet as I cautiously took one step after another in dim dusty corridors. I passed over doors torn off their hinges by the force of the blast, thrown onto the ground or leaning against the wall. Desks, drawers, shelves and paper littered the corridors.

My laptop was there but many keys had popped out due to the force of the explosion. Large, sharp glass fragments had lodged in the back of my chair. Had I been there, any of them could have pierced my back.

I walked in darkness until a soldier stopped me at the office of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the head of the UN mission in Iraq. De Mello had been sent there a few weeks earlier by the then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. His mission was to help the invading Americans reach a political way out and hand over power to Iraqis, after the military and political foundations of Saddam Hussein’s regime had been destroyed earlier that year in an ill-conceived and illegal war that had not even been sanctioned by the UN Security Council.

I asked the soldier to let me through. With a vacant look in his eyes, he said, “There’s no ‘through’. There is nothing there; that part of the building is vaporised. If you stepped behind that door, you’d fall several stories onto rubble, iron rods, and concrete blocks.”

A partial view of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad that was destroyed by a truck bomb on 19 August 2003. Credit: UN Photo/Timothy Sopp

I entered the adjacent office where a colleague and I used to smoke whenever we had the chance. Her cigarettes and lighter were on her desk covered by a thin layer of dust that enveloped everything in the room. She was among the missing, and I would later learn that she died in the explosion.

What I had missed

It took hours for us to piece the initial story together. Around 4:30pm on 19th August, 2003, a suicide bomber drove a truck heavily loaded with explosives into the UN compound. His deadly cargo detonated upon impact, destroying a whole corner of the building, burying those inside it under the collapsed floors. The attack killed 22 people, most of whom were UN staff members.

I spent the evening that day in a UN vehicle with colleagues moving from one hospital and medical centre to another, checking on the wounded and searching for some missing UN staff. We ferried some walking wounded back to their hotels.

For a few days, we worked all our waking hours, surrendering ourselves to an immense flow of adrenaline, meetings, calls, and emails.

There was no time to be angry about the UN failure to anticipate the attack or better protect its staff. There was no time to be angry at the mindless, murderous terrorists, or to contemplate the role of the US invasion and the disastrous de-Ba’athification policy, and the emerging Baath/jihadi coalitions which created a wave of terror that haunts the region today. There would be time for that, later.

I remained oblivious to how the attack impacted me psychologically for several weeks until the long-delayed recognition of the enormity of this horror finally arrived after I returned home to New York. I began tough journey of recovery, where I had to deal with survivor’s guilt and disturbing flashbacks, not to mention what happens usually in such circumstances when upsetting memories swept under the rug of the unconscious creep up and pull you down to very dark caves.

I was very fortunate (and the UN was probably very worried about liability and litigation) to be able to have a fully paid year of leave during which I underwent intensive psychotherapy, also paid for by my health insurance. Millions of Iraqis, including UN contractors, were not that lucky.

It took years to fully integrate this harrowing experience and move on. I now accept, rather than avoid, the waves of sadness—and sometimes anger—this memory brings. I know now how not to inflict my suffering on others. This required hard, personal work, and the support and love of friends, family members, and professionals.

I managed to return to work, including in conflict zones, after about a year.

Who was accountable?

The direct responsibility for this horrific attack rested with the terrorist Al-Qaeda group. For them the UN was a proxy target, easier to hit than the US military, which was then their nemesis, but had been an ally of their jihadi ideological fathers in Afghanistan in the 1980s. A wave of propaganda relying on a grain of truth that the UN was whitewashing the American invasion dominated Iraqi and even wider Arab conversations about the international organisation. Al-Qaeda recruiters exploited it cleverly to convince volunteers and followers that the UN was a legitimate target.

In a few months, the UN completed a detailed investigation and pointed the internal fingers of blame at dysfunctional security systems and officials. It shied away from directly blaming the decision-making process for hasty deployment of such political and humanitarian aid missions to danger zones without adequate planning, especially when such decisions were pushed by interested influential capitals.

I remember long discussions among senior UN officials and colleagues before and after the attack on how humanitarian aid had become too politicised and how this had turned us, aid workers, into a soft target for attacks which had been increasingly aimed at civilians and civilian infrastructure.

The day of the attack

On 19th August, 2003, a few hours before the attack, a colleague was trying to park our car inside the UN compound after passing through extensive security checks. As I got out of the car, I noticed a woman and a child behind a side unguarded gate. The child had managed to insert himself in the slight opening of the gate held together by a rusty chain and an old padlock. His slim figure was almost inside the compound when he noticed me. We exchanged conspiratorial smiles. Before he could fully push his body through, his mother grabbed his arm and pulled him back.

I thought I should inform the UN security officer, who was walking towards me, about what had just happened. They had excessive security measures at the main entrance while leaving that side gate easily passable for a small person. Before I could utter a word, the security officer shouted, “Move your car from here, these spots are reserved for the mission leadership!”

We exchanged some terse words. I pointed towards the gate. The woman and the child had already left. I said that this was a serious security lapse. He got angrier and shouted, “This is my job, don’t teach me my job, move your car now!”

A few hours later, the explosives truck drove into this rickety side gate dislodging it.

Undoubtedly, there was a clear failure and negligence on the part of security personnel and systems. Some of them faced subsequent administrative sanctions. However, understanding how the flawed security system allowed the terrorists to easily carry out the attack does not help us understand why they considered and planned such an attack against the UN in the first place.

How the UN became a target

Over the past 30 years, many people, especially in societies that receive aid or are affected by the UN resolutions and interventions, have increasingly viewed the organisation as a part of a scheme to maintain a western-dominated international order. From jihadists and armed militias to aid-receiving governments and communities, the UN has increasingly been perceived as subservient to neoliberal ideologies and western capitalist interests. My colleagues and I have heard this from government officials in Khartoum and Kabul, militia men in Darfur and Faizabad, and from refugees and displaced people in Palestine and Lebanon. Those who receive UN assistance always appreciated the help but often complained that aid had not addressed the root causes of their misery. They sometimes raised doubts about the motives of big aid agencies.

In the face of complex and unresolved conflicts, it is easier to adopt a superficial and simplistic view of how the UN works and claim that its myriad of organisations and programmes are mere tools of western foreign policy. And there is probably a grain of truth to such claims, especially since the end of the Cold War. Western capitals provide over 75 per cent of the funding for humanitarian organisations, they dominate their governance systems, and monopolise the top positions in the most important global humanitarian organisations, namely Unicef, WFP and the UNHCR. The first two have almost always been led by Americans, some of whom had served in senior political positions in their governments.

During the 20th century, the aid enterprise became increasingly intertwined with transnational politics. In addition to altruistic motivations and legal underpinnings, it was also increasingly influenced by realpolitik considerations to ensure that conflicts, poverty, and natural disasters did not undermine the stability of strategically important interests or region.

With the evaporation of the Soviet bloc in the late 1980s, disintegrating states and armed non-state actors emerged as the main threat to the international world order championed by the west. Al-Qaeda, though a former ally of the US in its global anti-Soviet campaigns, attacked the US on the home front. The murderous terrorist carnage on 11th September led to a massive and excessive response by the US and its allies in Afghanistan in 2001 and then in Iraq in 2003. The humanitarian enterprise played a large, albeit secondary, role to mitigate the impact of these wars on civilians. This role was largely shaped and funded by the US and its allies.

Since then, ideologically driven armed militias, remnants of the hard Stalinist left, and also some liberal and realist circles, started to perceive UN organisations as largely dominated by western capitals, and as a part of their toolbox in global undertakings, whether peaceful or military.

These are factual elements that fed the conspiratorial world view which enabled the bombing of Baghdad UN offices 20 years ago.

Modern humanitarian aid has not been free from political prerogatives since its formal evolution in the early 20th century. It became one of the Cold War battlegrounds after World War II. Then it metamorphosed again in the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union, as the dominant powers tried to subject it to their national priorities. This was evident in several conflict areas in the 1990s. For example, in the Balkans, the UN created safe havens to partly prevent the flow of refugees to western Europe. While food and shelter were provided, protection was not available, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Bosnians in places like Srebrenica.

Humanitarian organisations operate in a hyper-political environment while striving to adhere to principles of neutrality, independence, and impartiality. It is true, however, that UN senior leaders and staff on the ground can sometimes take inappropriate decisions and carry out their work in ways that are inconsistent with UN values. Such actions taint the entire UN and contributes to blanket perceptions such as “the UN is corrupt”.

None of this is to excuse, much less justify, a vicious strategy by armed groups involved in acts of terror that target international aid groups. It is to try to understand the environment in which these groups recruit and operate. It is also to show how innocent people can be crushed between the political machinations of the international community and the armed groups (or states) that control their lives.

How the train of politics twisted the tracks of humanitarian work

The politicisation of humanitarian aid was evident when I joined the UN in 1999 in Afghanistan, where the Taliban on the ground and donors in Washington and other capitals held many of the levers for the allocation and delivery of aid.

After 11th September, meetings with USAid in Islamabad focused on trying to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan after the US invasion. Afghanistan was already suffering from cyclical droughts, poor social services and a crumbling economy after being dominated by armed conflict for decades. They did not want to allow the Taliban to use the humanitarian cost of the war against them. The UN flooded the country with flour, oil and essential food items, and the feared famine never materialised.

Aid politicisation went into a higher gear of integration in 2002, during the months leading up to the Iraq War. The then US Secretary of State Colin Powell believed that foreign aid provided political incentives, supported free market democracy, and helped counter disorganised transnational migration.

In the autumn of 2002, humanitarian plans by UN organisations were shared with Washington. Before the war broke out organisations sought firm financial commitments from the US to start pre-positioning supplies.

Predictably, the shift in Middle Eastern and South Asian public opinion against the UN and aid agencies continued with rising allegations of bias and subservience to western interests. The complexity of functions, the competition for funding and a perception of clashing roles and priorities within UN organisations further complicated efforts to counter these allegations.

For example, the UN Security Council has at various stages imposed sanctions on Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria—measures that have severely affected the civilian populations rather than the targeted regimes and their proxies. Meanwhile, UN aid organisations like Unicef, the UNHCR, and the WFP continued to spend hundreds of millions of dollars (the total global budget of these organisations in 2022 exceeded $26bn) on millions of refugees, internally displaced persons and those harmed by the war and by these very sanctions.

Some of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, notably Russia and the US, have been implicated in strikes on medical and health facilities during conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, launching drone attacks against enemy targets killing many civilians in the process (what they call collateral damage), assassination attempts against opponents and arbitrary detentions. At the same time, they joined other western countries and Japan in providing the largest share of humanitarian needs (over $20bn in 2022 ), sometimes in the same places where they carry out or support seemingly endless military conflicts, such as in Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan.

These examples illustrate the complexity of behaviours of states and international organisations driven by often clashing motives and considerations.

However, in an era of dis- and misinformation and the quest for the ultimate sound bite, it becomes easier to view the UN as a failed international humanitarian conglomerate serving western political interests, incapable of leading the world to achieve just peace, enhance sustainable development or better protect human rights. (These were the three main pillars of the UN when its charter was put together after World War II.)

On the other hand, the authorities in recipient countries influence decisions about aid distribution: who receives assistance and who gets local contracts. A well-documented report in 2022 about aid operation in Syria revealed transactions involving tens of millions of dollars between UN organisations and private sector companies, some of which were owned or controlled by security agencies or senior Syrian officials who had been subject to western sanctions. These companies received around 47 per cent of the total UN contracts in 2019 and 2020.

Until the bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq in 2003, humanitarian workers took simple and logical security precautions—most notably, the display of their insignias on their offices, homes, and vehicles. The message that we, the UN, were neutral and impartial largely worked.

This started to change in the 1990s and early 2000s with new concepts such as the Responsibility to Protect, which started to give the UN a role that could be seen as interventionist. The reputation of UN organisations started to suffer. Many people, especially in recipient communities, increasingly perceived the UN as a western agent or a weak, subservient actor. Those who work with the UN have consequently become easier targets for criticism and, tragically, attacks.

In 2000 and 2001, I rode in rundown yellow taxis to go to the market in Kabul, where Taliban soldiers roamed the streets. I drove my own car bearing UN license plates to tribal areas in Pakistan, where jihadist groups, drug gangs, and arms dealers were present.

A few years later, during my missions in conflict zones, I needed security clearances to be able to leave my well-fortified offices. I wore a bulletproof vest and used two cars, one of them armoured, to attend meetings.

Relief workers started to be separated from people they were meant to assist, not merely by protective helmets and vests, but they also stayed inside homes and offices surrounded by sandbags and shock-absorbing barriers. These buildings became isolated behind barbed wires and high-security systems in locations far removed from the communities they were meant to serve. The walls around UN offices grew taller, and most of those working in conflict zones moved to live within fortified sanctuaries. International organisations also sent fewer international staff to unsafe areas.

All these changes help explain the decrease in casualties among foreign relief workers.

In 2003, a total of 117 local relief workers were killed, injured, or abducted, compared to 26 of their international colleagues. By 2022, the number of casualties among local workers had risen to 421, while the number of foreign relief worker casualties had decreased to 23. It is evident that the risks have increased, but their distribution has radically reversed, with local workers bearing much more of the burden.

Why I returned

My actual return to work in 2005 did not mean that I returned to who I was on the morning of 19th August, 2003, before the Baghdad attack occurred. In addition to my emotional and psychological shifts, I have also become more aware of limitations of humanitarian interventions and the urgent need for reforms in the international aid system.

By the time I decided to leave the UN in 2013, I had voiced almost all my concerns about the aid industry while working within the system.

Now, on the anniversary of the Baghdad explosion that I survived, I think a lot about the person I was 20 years ago when I lost 22 of my colleagues. I reflect on the price I paid and how much I have changed. I cherish the memory of friends and colleagues who lost their lives, were wounded or abducted over the past two decades—around 6,000 of them. The most recent was my late colleague, Moayad Hameidi, the head of the World Food Programme office in Taiz, Yemen, who was gunned down in late July. He survived Iraq but not Yemen.

The senseless Baghdad explosion compelled me to change, hopefully for the better, but the UN has been much slower in reforming itself while fully adhering to the principles on which it was founded—most importantly, humanity. Overhauling massive institutions might be much harder than healing and changing individuals. Perhaps our only choice here is to continue to work patiently to advance reforms step by step, programme after programme, until the UN better embodies the spirit of its charter, signed in San Francisco nearly 80 years ago.

Khaled Mansour is a writer, consultant and an adjunct professor on humanitarian aid, human rights and peacekeeping. He spent 13 years working for the United Nations, including for Unicef, peacekeeping missions and the World Food Programme

This article was first published in Prospect magazine

IPS UN Bureau


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Enernet Global Signs Power Purchase Agreement for 12MW Solar With Vedanta Zinc International in South Africa

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Sept. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Independent Power Producer Enernet Global (Enernet) has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to build, own, operate and maintain a 12MW DC solar Photovoltaic (PV) plant with Vedanta Zinc International's (VZI) Black Mountain Mining operations in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

The plant will generate approximately 29 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, substituting a portion of the current Eskom supply. This will reduce carbon emissions by circa 12,244 tonnes per annum compared to Eskom supply. Construction is expected to start in the first quarter of 2024 and take approximately 9 months to complete. The Project will also generate direct and indirect employment within the Khi–Ma municipal area and Namakwa District, both in the construction and 25–year operational tenor of the plant.

Enernet owns and operates hybrid power systems for mining and industrial companies designed to lower costs, reduce emissions and improve reliability. The company has over 140MW of capacity in operation, construction, contracted or awarded of which 60MW is located in Africa.

"We are excited to be Vedanta's long–term partner for power on their decarbonisation journey, working together on the roadmap, phasing and roll–out of renewables," said Bart Haverkamp, Enernet's Managing Director, Africa.

"ESG is the key focus at VZI. In line with our agenda to transform the planet for the greater good, we have committed to reducing carbon emissions by 35ktons and installing 76% renewable energy by 2027. Our goal is carbon neutrality by 2040. We are excited to partner with Enernet as this 12MW solar energy project, which will reduce emissions and enhance energy reliability and security," says Pushpender Singla, VZI Executive Director & CFO.

VZI has further plans to decarbonize its operations through its Renewables Energy Programme and will progress into Phase 2 which will encompass the wheeling of energy from offsite generation, across the Eskom transmission line, to offset its Gamsberg Mining operation. Phase 3 is aimed at the expansion of Gamsberg Phase II and is in its initial stages.

Paul Matthews, Enernet's CEO, added "As a specialist hybrid power company for mining and industrial companies in Africa, Australia and the Caribbean, we are honoured to be working with Vedanta. It is encouraging to see more and more mining companies taking the steps towards decarbonisation and achieving net zero objectives."

Singla concludes: "We are excited at the commencement of our decarbonization journey towards carbon neutrality, green zinc, and upholding our envisaged ESG commitments which will create opportunities for and develop the communities in which we operate."

About Enernet Global Inc

Enernet Global's mission is to decarbonise the world's supply chains. It owns and operates hybrid power systems and drives the adoption of renewable energy, battery storage and energy efficiency solutions that displace CO2"emissions and reduce power costs. Built on the company's proprietary ARC software platform, Enernet Global's Energy–as–a–Service offering benefits on and off–grid customers by providing less expensive, more resilient power solutions at no capital outlay for customers.

Enernet has operations in Sub–Saharan Africa, Australia and the Caribbean, where it focuses on power solutions for customers in the metals and minerals, commercial and industrial and agriculture sectors.

Media contact:
Bart Haverkamp
Managing Director, Africa
Enernet Global Inc.
Office: 3 East 80th Street, New York, NY 10075

GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8918857)

Microvolts Recharged Takes Off on Steam! Europe Servers and No Pay to Win Strategy – Official Launch Set for September 9, 2023

SEOUL, South Korea, Sept. 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The third–person shooter game Microvolts Recharged (MVR), which has enthralled fans globally, is slated for an official Steam release at midnight (UTC) on September 9.

Following the successful completion of its third closed beta test (CBT) this year, Microvolts Recharged is poised to return with a revamped look thanks to the diligent efforts of its developer, Masangsoft. Content upgrades were driven by invaluable feedback from CBT participants. Notably, a remedy to the imbalance caused by P2W has been implemented. Every player can now upgrade items with ease and fairness, regardless of spending. These enhancements introduce a superior gaming experience while preserving the fundamentals of the game.

[Anticipated Update List]

" NOP2W Upgrade: A system enabling fair item upgrades solely based on effort.

" League Matches: Player–friendly content, unrestricted by levels, fostering close–knit player relationships.

" Replay System: A feature that records battles and reports questionable players.

" Clan: Build your unique clan and cultivate strong bonds among members.

" New Achievements Added: Additional rewards provide support for seamless game adaptation.

" Preset: A user–friendly feature for storing preferred item sets.

" Membership: Subscribe to a monthly membership for more relaxed and streamlined gameplay.

" Limited Selection: Season–exclusive costumes are solely available through a limited selection.

" Training Center: A platform to test various weapons and enhance battle skills.

" Weekly Missions: Offering greater rewards in comparison to daily missions.

" Convenience Improvements: Enhanced chat room functionality, increased zoom sensitivity, added resolution options, and multilingual chat support.

[Introducing Microvolts Recharged]

Microvolts Recharged (MVR) is a free–to–play online PC shooter game, available on Steam, that promises exciting battles in the captivating Micro World. Engage in dynamic battles across various themed maps and diverse modes. The third–person perspective provides an expansive battle view, enabling real–time strategy planning with seven unique weapons. Customize your avatar from nine distinctive action figures and accessorize with various costumes, and experience stress–relieving gameplay through user–friendly controls and casual game dynamics. Join the exciting journey with MVR and discover the pure joy unattainable in hardcore games.

Website: https://mv.masanggames.com/

Forum: https://mv–forum.masanggames.com/

Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1426440/MICROVOLTS_Recharged/

Photo: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/1a3c02ff–837d–4938–af1e–7f9ef62c8a95

GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8918207)