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Over the next three to four decades, temperatures in the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa are expected to rise about two degrees Celsius. Scientists say without immediate innovations in farming, crops will be devastated and the region will be thrown into chaos. So Rwanda is experimenting with what is already widely practiced in some neighboring countries. They are growing banana and coffee plants on the same soil to prepare for the new climate in the long term, and to grow the economy in the short term.

Frederick Musangwa has a farm in Rwanda. He grows bananas to eat, and coffee to sell. He cooks over a wood fire, and has no electricity or running water. In the past, he grew food crops to feed his family and sell in the market, and earned about $115 a year from coffee plants.  More recently, he said, he has almost tripled his income from coffee.

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The U.N. Secretary-General’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing has released its recommendations for how the international community can raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to offset the impact of global warming on developing countries. Among the recommendations, the panel is urging increasing the price of carbon emissions.

In February, U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon established the advisory group and asked Ethiopian Prime Ministers Meles Zenawi and his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg, to co-chair it. On Friday, they presented the Secretary-General with the 21 member group’s recommendations on how to generate $100 billion a year by 2020 to help address the needs of developing countries in battling the effects of climate change. That target was set at last year’s climate conference in Copenhagen.

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Oxfam is launching its first online wedding shop, offering couples an ethical choice for their big day with the added comfort of shopping from home.

Oxfam Unwrapped wedding lists were launched in 2007 and have raised nearly £1m since. The new shop on the Oxfam website will include details of the eleven Oxfam shops with bridal departments, all of which offer a wide selection of new and nearly new designer dresses, specialist advice and fittings.

It”s all aimed at couples planning a wedding that doesn”t cost a fortune and that will make a lasting difference, helping to fight poverty in more than 70 countries around the world.

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Environmentalists say industry’s arctic safety case undermined by figures showing 55 pollution incidents in last month.

Britain’s offshore rigs and platforms have leaked oil or other chemicals into the North Sea on 55 occasions over the past month alone, challenging claims by the industry that it has a strong safety and environmental record.

Among the fields to have reported pollution discharges is Piper Alpha, the scene of the world’s worst offshore accident in terms of fatalities when it blew up, killing 167 workers, 25 years ago.

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When Rankin Paynter learned that the Kmart in his Kentucky town was closing, he decided to buy everything that remained on the store’s shelves — and give it all away.

Four cash registers and six-and-a-half hours after his shopping spree began, the benevolent businessman walked away with $200,000 worth of inventory and gave it all over to Clark County Community Services, a nonprofit that helps families in Winchester, Ky., facing crisis situations, WLEX reports.

“It’s time to give back,” the “Summer Santa” told the news source.

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Old, meet young. Learn something new–even amazing.

The Amazings is a new social enterprise in London to “help people who are about to retire or have retired create amazing experiences with the skills, knowledge, and passion they’ve picked up throughout their life,” says the new organization. Through the site, retirees can sign up to share their skills and experiences with others by way of group classes and activities, with current offerings including “Street photography with Andrew,” “Blow dry master class with Michael,” or “Make your own natural lip balm with Gail.”

The Amazings handles all details regarding advertising and payments, so retirees need only participate in their activity and collect their payment afterwards. Activities and classes currently listed on the site range in price from $15 to $25, while The Amazings (what looks like three 20-somethings ) keep about 30% to fund its operations.

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Over the weekend more than 100 Shuar indigenous people, also known as Wampis, blockaded the Morona River in Peru in an effort to stop exploratory oil drilling by Canadian-owned Talisman Energy. The blockade in meant to prevent oil drilling in an area of the Peruvian Amazon known as Block 64, home to four indigenous tribes in total and the Pastaza River Wetland Complex, a Ramsar wetland site.

“We do not consider the oil company as a creator of jobs but instead as murderous, criminal and abusive. We do not want Talisman in the Wampis territory,” a statement from the Shuar reads pointing to Talisman Energy’s track record in Peru as well as alleged human rights abuses in Sudan during the nation’s civil war. The company sold off its Sudan holdings in 2003 after international criticism, while a lawsuit in the US against Talisman was thrown out due to sufficient admissible evidence. The US Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

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Positive News’s Stephen Lewis speaks to Satish Kumar, the long-standing editor of the pioneering environmental magazine Resurgence, about the publication’s philosophy and achievements.

Forty-five years ago, Britain’s first environmental magazine was launched. Resurgence predated publications such as The Ecologist — with which it has now merged – and even existed before Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace were established.

Founded at the end of 1966 by John Papworth, EF Schumacher and Herbert Read at a time of little environmental awareness in the UK, in 1973 Resurgence moved into the hands of its now long-standing editor, Satish Kumar.

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The California-based solar leasing firm Sungevity announced a deal on Monday with home improvement giant Lowe’s that could make obtaining a personalized estimate for installing solar panels a push-button affair at Lowe’s outlets.

The deal gives Lowe’s just under a 20 percent stake in Sungevity, according to a solar industry source, though neither company would discuss specific dollar figures.

Under the agreement, scheduled to launch in 30 Lowe’s stores in California in July, customers will be able to access kiosks equipped with Sugevity’s iQuote system, a Web-based application that allows homeowners to simply enter their address and receive a firm installation estimate within 24 hours, eliminating the expense of an on-site visit.

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One of America’s first viral videos of 2011 has propelled a homeless man, who was filmed begging for money with a baritone-rich radio voice, to national attention and job offers.

Ted Williams, a 53 year-old former radio announcer who became homeless after battling drugs and alcohol, attracted millions of YouTube hits after The Columbus Dispatch newspaper posted a video last Monday.

By Thursday, Williams appeared on morning news programmes including The Today Show to talk about new voice-over job offers with the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team and foodmaker Kraft and his stunning instant rise from begging on the streets.

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This from CNN:-

London, England (CNN) — The world’s largest offshore wind farm opened Thursday off the British coast, with 100 wind turbines capable of supplying enough electricity for 200,000 homes a year.

The farm, off the coast of Kent in southern England, is part of a major renewable energy initiative spearheaded by the previous British government.

Swedish energy company Vattenfall will operate the farm after having invested around 880 million pounds ($1.38 billion).

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Land-scarce Singapore has its first vertical farm on a plot of land in Lim Chu Kang the size of about five football fields.

Vegetables – Chinese cabbage, nai bai and xiao bai cai – grow on 120 towers and the harvest is sol

d at five NTUC FairPrice Finest outlets.

The innovation is also a boost for the country’s efforts to widen food-supply sources.

Each 9m-tall tower, made of tiers of planting troughs rotating around an aluminium frame, produces five to 10 times more vegetables than conventional methods in the same land area.

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