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).
Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change
New York Times: Drawing one of the strongest links yet between global warming and human conflict, researchers said Monday that an extreme drought in Syria between 2006 and 2009 was most likely due to climate change, and that the drought was a factor in the violent uprising that began there in 2011.
The drought was the worst in the country in modern times, and in a study published Monday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists laid the blame for it on a century-long trend toward...
Climate Change Researcher Offers a Defense of His Practices
New York Times: The scientist at the center of a controversy over fossil-fuel funding for climate research denounced his critics on Monday and said that he would be ?happy to comply? with possible additional disclosure requirements from scientific journals publishing his papers. In his first detailed public statement since the controversy erupted more than a week ago, the scientist, Wei-Hock Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, complained that he had been the subject of unfair...
Business Briefing: Netherlands Regrets Ignoring Earthquakes at Natgas Field
New York Times: The Dutch government apologized on Monday for ignoring the risks posed by earthquakes caused by production of natural gas in the northern province of Groningen. The apology follows an official report that found the government, together with Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, had put profits before safety in exploiting the Groningen gas field, Europe?s largest. Last month, the government ordered production at the Groningen field to be cut by 16 percent for the first half of 2015. The government is...
How Global Warming Helped Cause the Syrian War
Wired: The bloody conflict in Syria--which enters its fifth year this month--has killed almost 200,000 people, created 3.2 million refugees, and given rise to the murderous extremist group known as the Islamic State. The roots of the civil war extend deep into Syria?s political and socioeconomic structures. But another cause turns out to be global warming.
When violence erupted in Syria during the Arab Spring in 2011, the country had been mired in a three-year drought--its worst in recorded history....
Air pollution will kill thousands in Europe, EEA warns
Guardian: Hundreds of thousands of Europeans will suffer a premature death in the next two decades as the result of governments? failure to act on air pollution, Europe?s environmental watchdog has warned.
In 2011, the latest year for which figures have been reliably collated, more than 400,000 are estimated to have died prematurely as a result of breathing toxic fumes, despite recent improvements in some countries
The UK has been one of the worst offenders, with government figures showing that European...
New Study Says Climate Change Helped Spark Syrian Civil War
Slate: By now, it's pretty clear that we're starting to see visible manifestations of climate change beyond far-off melting ice sheets. One of the most terrifying implications is the increasingly real threat of wars sparked in part by global warming. New evidence says that Syria may be one of the first such conflicts.
We know the basic story in Syria by now: From 2006-2010, an unprecedented drought forced the country from a groundwater-intensive breadbasket of the region to a net food importer. Farmers...
Australia on El Nino watch after Pacific Ocean warms
Reuters: Australia's weather bureau said on Tuesday the chance of an El Nino developing this year had risen to about 50 percent after signs of renewed warming in tropical Pacific Ocean. The Bureau of Meteorology said six out of eight international models it surveyed indicated that sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean would exceed El Nino thresholds by mid-year. El Nino can prompt drought in Southeast Asia and Australia and heavy rains in South America, hitting production of food such as...
Deadly Frog Fungus Invades Madagascar
Nature World: A deadly fungus which has been ravaging amphibian populations across the world has somehow found its way to the isolated island of Madagascar, according to new surveys. And that's the stuff of nightmares for conservationists, as the island happens to be countless frog species, 99 percent of which can be found nowhere else in the world.
A study, recently published in the journal Nature details how the fatal fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) seems to have first appeared in the Madagascar...