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Sargassum Seaweed Control Strategy Validated

Sargassum Seaweed Control Strategy Validated

first_imgExperts from West Africa including oceanographers and environmentalists have validated a strategy to address Sargassum Seaweed surfacing along the West African coast. The validation meeting involving representatives of affected countries concluded on Wednesday, August 10, in Monrovia with the experts devising strategies to address the situation through study.Following studies of the strategies, another forum will be organized to reach a working protocol that all affected countries will abide by.Sahr Abraham Grass-Sessay, West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WABiCC) Advisor to United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Abidjan Convention, who provided his expert opinion on the effects of seaweed, noted that it affects the tourism and fishing industries along the Atlantic coast.Grass-Sessay added that the brownish seaweed also suppresses the growth and survival of animals and plants along the coast.Among strategies designed to tackle the problem, he said, are studies to find out the use of the seaweed to benefit the human populace.He said turning the seaweed into beer or animal feed can serve as means of creating benefit.Grass-Sessay said the emergence of the seaweed may be the effect of the mixture of warm and cold ocean waters. He however quoted other sources that say after the seaweed surfaces on the water, it is subsequently brought to the coast as a result of marine movement and oil exploration. These two instances, he said, are yet to be independently confirmed.A brief ceremony marking the end of the two-day discussion was attended by Abou Bamba, Abidjan Convention Regional Coordinator; Simeon Moriba, Mano River Union (MRU) Deputy Secretary General for Development; and ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia, Tunde Ajisomo.In remarks earlier, Ambassador Ajisomo praised the venture and commended the West African experts for putting their brains to work to discuss the confronting environmental problem.MRU Secretary General Simeon Moriba, on the other hand, noted that the process to address the Sargassum seaweed problem will not only help the environment and marine species, but will also provide job opportunities for youths in the ECOWAS and MRU states.He described the youths in MRU countries as a “lost generation who were affected by crises created in the region.”Meanwhile, another phase of the meeting geared towards scrutinizing the Abidjan Convention followed, with officials of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Convention’s Secretariat x-raying each point contained in the convention to recommend what should be injected or removed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Intelligent design wins at Kansas state school board

Intelligent design wins at Kansas state school board

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The vote was a victory for intelligent design advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power. Critics of the new language charged that it was an attempt to inject God and creationism into public schools in violation of the separation of church and state. But supporters of the new standards said they will promote academic freedom. “It gets rid of a lot of dogma that’s being taught in the classroom today,” said board member John Bacon. The new standards say high school students must understand major evolutionary concepts. But they also declare that the basic Darwinian theory – that all life had a common origin and that natural chemical processes created the building blocks of life – have been challenged in recent years by fossil evidence and molecular biology. In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena. TOPEKA, Kan. – Among mainstream scientists, there’s no real debate over Darwin’s theory of evolution – it’s considered a cornerstone of biology. But new science standards approved Tuesday for Kansas public schools cast doubt on the theory, a move that may cause scientists to see the state as backward. “This is a sad day. We’re becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that,” said board member Janet Waugh, a Democrat. The state Board of Education approved the new standards in a 6-4 vote, revisiting a topic that exposed Kansas to nationwide ridicule six years ago. The new standards will be used to develop student tests measuring how well schools teach science. Decisions about what is taught in classrooms will remain with 300 local school boards, but some educators fear pressure will increase in some communities to teach less about evolution or more about creationism or intelligent design. “What this does is open the door for teachers to bring creationist arguments into the classroom and point to the standards and say it’s OK,” said Jack Krebs, an Oskaloosa High School math teacher and vice president of Kansas Citizens for Science, which opposes the changes. But John Calvert, a retired attorney who helped found the Intelligent Design Network, said changes probably will come to classrooms gradually, with some teachers feeling freer to discuss criticisms of evolution. “These changes are not targeted at changing the hearts and minds of the Darwin fundamentalists,” Calvert said. The vote marked the third time in six years that the Kansas board has rewritten standards with evolution as the central issue. In 1999, the board eliminated most references to evolution. Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould said that was akin to teaching “American history without Lincoln.” Bill Nye, the “Science Guy” of children’s television, called it “harebrained” and “nutty.” And a Washington Post columnist imagined God saying to the Kansas board members: “Man, I gave you a brain. Use it, OK?” Two years later, after voters replaced three members, the board reverted to evolution-friendly standards. Elections in 2002 and 2004 changed the board’s composition again, making it more conservative. Many scientists and other critics contend creationists repackaged old ideas in new, scientific-sounding language to get around a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1987 against teaching the biblical story of creation in public schools. The Kansas board’s action is part of a national debate. In Pennsylvania, a judge is expected to rule soon in a lawsuit against the Dover school board’s policy of requiring high school students to learn about intelligent design in biology class. In August, President George W. Bush endorsed teaching intelligent design alongside evolution. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more