Executive Secretary, Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS)
• Executive Secretary, Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS). The Sahara and Sahel Observatory is an independent international organization based in Tunisia and is comprised of African and European countries, regional and international organizations, and representatives of civil society;
• Chair, Speaker, and Participant, “Integrated Development and Climate policies: how to realize benefits at national and international levels”, Development and Climate Project Workshop, Paris (September 20-22, 2006);
• Dr. Sokona has participated in many international events regarding the subjects of climate change, desertification, and biodiversity. He speaks regularly to international organizations such as UNFCCC, UNESCO, and UNDP, particularly on the effects of climate change on Africa and he participated in follow-ups to the Rio process;
• Coordinator, Energy Programme and Executive Secretary for International Relations, Environement and Développement du Tiers Monde (ENDA-TM), based in Dakar, Senegal (1982 – 2003); and
• Professor, “Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Bamako” (National Engineering School, Bamako, Mali).
AWARDS, BOARD MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS:
• Member, Technical Advisory Group of the joint UNDP/World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistant Programme (present);
• Board Member, International Institute for Environment and Development (present); and
• Board Member, Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (present).
• “Econole Nationale Supérieure des Mines” (Paris); and
• University of Pierre et Marie Curie (PhD, Engineering and Sciences of the Earth).
Drop in population of Gulf of Maine baby lobsters puzzles scientists
Reuters: The number of baby lobsters in the Gulf of Maine has dropped by half since 2007, a phenomenon that has puzzled scientists as the population of adult lobsters remains near a record high, contributing to robust catches. Scientists note that baby lobsters take eight years to reach harvestable size, meaning the dip could yet be felt by the state's 4,200 lobstermen, who last year hauled in a record catch worth $365 million, representing nearly 70 percent of Maine's total seafood harvest. Despite the...
What Happens When Oil Spills in the Arctic?
National Geographic: As sea ice melts and the oil industry prepares to exploit the Arctic's vast resources, the United States faces big gaps in its preparedness for an oil spill in the region, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Research Council (NRC).
The 183-page report marks the first time in more than ten years that the NRC, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, has taken a comprehensive look at the impact of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic. In the intervening decade, sea ice cover...
Study Finds Less Green in the Congo Rain Forest
New York Times: Years of drier conditions in the Congo River basin in central Africa appear to be affecting trees in the region?s vast rain forests, scientists reported on Wednesday. Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers said that the capacity of the trees to photosynthesize had declined, and suggested that if this trend continues, the long-term result could be changes in the structure and composition of the region?s forests, the largest expanse of rain forest in the world after the Amazon. Those potential...
Rand Paul bashes 'alarmist,' 'ignoramus' climate change claims
Washington Post: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says in a new interview that people who cite recent hurricanes as proof of climate change are ignorant.
Paul was speaking Tuesday with former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. He said evidence of man-made climate change being a problem remains inconclusive and that many activists are "alarmist."
"They all predicted the poor Statue of Liberty was going to drown within a hundred years, and the polar bears and all this...
Obama admin tightens coal dust rules to reduce black lung cases
Associated Press: The Obama administration said Wednesday it is cutting the amount of coal dust allowed in coal mines in an effort to help reduce black lung disease.
"Today we advance a very basic principle: you shouldn't have to sacrifice your life for your livelihood," Labor Secretary Thomas E Perez said. "But that's been the fate of more than 76,000 miners who have died at least in part because of black lung since 1968."
Perez was one of several top government officials to announce the long-awaited final...
Deforestation could cause Congo to warm 3C by 2050
RTCC: The Congo Basin will face disproportionately high levels of global warming by 2050 due to deforestation, researchers have warned.
Shrinking rainforest cover means the area will heat up by an additional 0.7C by mid-century, on top of the 1.4C increase from today?s temperatures that rising global greenhouse gas emissions are projected to cause.
This is in addition to the 0.85C of warming that the world has already experienced since industrial times, when humans started burning fossil fuels at...
Green groups urge U.S. to drop solar trade case against India
Reuters: Environmental groups urged the United States on Wednesday to drop a challenge to India's massive solar program and said the World Trade Organization case would only hurt the growth of renewable energy resources.
The United States is taking action at the WTO over the domestic content requirements in India's program, which aims to ease chronic energy shortages in Asia's third-largest economy.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has said making Indian solar developers use locally made equipment...
New data on what Greenland was like almost 3 million years ago
Environmental News Network: Glaciers and ice sheets are commonly thought to work like a belt sander. As they move over the land they scrape off everything ? vegetation, soil and even the top layer of bedrock. So a team of university scientists and a NASA colleague were greatly surprised to discover an ancient tundra landscape preserved under the Greenland Ice Sheet, below two miles of ice. "We found organic soil that has been frozen to the bottom of the ice sheet for 2.7 million years," said University of Vermont geologist...