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Liberia Gets Top Post at COP23

first_imgJeremiah Garwo Sokan, Sr. EPA’s National Coordinator for the National Climate Change Secretariat, will represent the LDCs on the board from 2018 to 2019.Liberia has been elected as a member on the Board of Directors of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to help steer the world to a safer environment by appropriately helping to manage funds meant for vulnerable countries and other communities at the ongoing global climate change conference in Germany.Liberia replaces Malawi on the Board, and therefore has acquired a top seat at one of the high tables at the ongoing 23rd edition of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, from November 6 to 17.The conference is being jointly organized by Fiji, which is presiding, with the support of the German government.Liberia’s election to the GCF Board places her in the spotlight to help in combating the impacts of climate change globallyAccording to a dispatch from Germany, Liberia was elected on the board to represent 47 “Least Developed Countries (LDCs),” following an intensive and competitive electoral process.EPA Executive Director, Anyaa Vohiri, who is attending the conference, has nominated the EPA’s National Coordinator for the National Climate Change Secretariat, Jeremiah Garwo Sokan, Sr., to represent the LDCs on the board from 2018 to 2019.“LDCs are countries which are mainly vulnerable to climate change, but have done the least to cause the problem,” the dispatch said. It would work together at the intergovernmental negotiations under the United Nation Funds for Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to demand wealthier nations act in accordance with their responsibility for creating the problem and addressing it, and to as well play a leadership role in global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change,” it said.Liberia’s election on the LDCs Board will leverage her more latitude to negotiate additional funding to enhance the country’s efforts in mitigating and adapting to the threats of climate change.The GCF also pays particular attention to the needs of societies that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular the LDC, Small Island Developing States, and African States.The GCF launched its initial resource mobilization in 2014, and rapidly gathered pledges worth US$10.3 billion. These funds come mainly from developed countries and also from some developing countries, regions, and Paris, France.The conference of parties, through the UNFCCC, was adopted in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, which marked the beginning of the international community’s first concerted effort to confront the problem of climate change. Each year the parties to the agreement convene to assess progress in implementing the convention and, more broadly, dealing with climate change.However, at the 21st edition of the conference (COP21) held in Paris in November-December, 2015, the parties negotiated what is known as the Paris Agreement, which established specific actions and targets for reducing greenhouse gases emissions, mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, and financing mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries.The agreement took effect nearly a year later. Signatory countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius and to make strong efforts to keep the rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Paris Agreement is especially significant because it is a legally binding agreement.Governments, cities and regions from the 152 countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement, are meanwhile expected to by now meet their national climate change commitments looking for the clean energy, low carbon transport and finance solutions to make this a reality.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

RIKEN announces penalties related to stem cell fiasco

first_imgTOKYO—RIKEN, the network of nationally supported Japanese labs, today handed out disciplinary measures for those involved in the STAP stem cell scandal who remain under its authority.The actions result from nearly a year’s worth of investigations centered on an article and a letter published online in Nature on 29 January 2014 that described a new and extremely simple way of generating stem cells called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency, or STAP. Nature retracted the papers last July. Even before the retraction, a RIKEN panel found lead author Haruko Obokata guilty of research misconduct for fabricated and falsified images. Investigators also concluded that several of Obokata’s supervisors bore a heavy responsibility for the mess because of their lax oversight. Obokata resigned in December after failing to reproduce her research results. Also in December, a RIKEN investigative team concluded that STAP cells never existed and that indications of pluripotency reported in experiments likely resulted from contamination of cell lines. Email Even though she has already resigned, RIKEN judged Obokata’s actions worthy of dismissal for cause. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Hitoshi Niwa, a co-author of the problematic papers and formerly a project leader, is also receiving a written reprimand. He remains on the staff.  For his role in the affair, Teruhiko Wakayama, a co-author who left RIKEN for a position at the University of Yamanashi before the papers were published, should have been suspended for cause, according to RIKEN. RIKEN also revoked his ongoing appointment as an associate researcher.Another co-author who oversaw Obokata’s work, Yoshiki Sasai, committed suicide last August.In a written statement also released today, Takeichi said that as head of CDB he bore “a heavy responsibility” for not catching in advance such unsuitable publications. He “solemnly accepted the punishment” and said he would work to promote research integrity. A RIKEN representative told ScienceInsider that there are a few bits of business related to the scandal still under investigation. One is whether RIKEN should return related research funds to the government. Another is whether to withdraw patent applications on the STAP technique filed jointly with Harvard University. Obokata initiated her work on STAP cells while a postdoc in the lab of Charles Vacanti, a tissue engineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. RIKEN is also pursuing an action plan to prevent future lapses in research ethics throughout its system. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) According to a statement released today (in Japanese here), the following disciplinary measures were taken in accordance with RIKEN regulations:Masatoshi Takeichi, the former head of RIKEN’s Center for Developmental Biology (CDB), has received an official reprimand. He will voluntarily return 10% of 3 months’ worth of salary. Takeichi is still an adviser to CDB, which has been reorganized in the wake of the scandal.last_img read more