Watson Engages In International Affairs

Albuquerque — In May 2012, Albuquerque Community Leaders met with African government representatives — 14 countries represented — and the Department of State in an initiative to implement youth civic engagement.  This meeting was held at the New Mexico Forum under the direction of Anna Nelson and NM Youth Alliance, Moneka Stevens-Cordova. Representatives from countries such as Chad, Benin, Madagascar, and the Republic of the Congo were offered strategic insight on providing local African communities with outreach initiatives to achieve higher participation in democracy. This newly developed international partnership will now progress to collaborate in the future on community affairs and policies to gain civil momentum.

Among attendees, Joe Washington EBINA of the Congo explained genocide and what his current initiatives are to reduce violence in Africa. He is currently helping his local community in health and education related issues. Washington will be running for president of the Congo in the next election year.

Others participating members included Joannie Bewa of Benin who is a medical doctor and a coordinator of education and schooling in her community. Bewa recently received assistance from the Obama Administration to implement youth councils, health clinics, and economic recovery projects.

Representing Chad, Niger, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa,  Hindou OUMAROU IBRAHIM implored all American attendees not to

neglect Native Americans as she believes they hold traditional wealth for the United States. IBRAHIM, in her visit to the states, studied reservations and the culture and relativity to her society. She has developed initiatives to re-inculcate traditional knowledge into her

community, such as water purification, pastoralism, atmospheric science, and natural environmental adaption, to have sustainable solutions for all generations.  This is also a part of her efforts to unify younger and older generations to create salubrious environmental. Her research conducted with the Minister of Urban and Rural Hydrology, General Mahamat Ali Abdallah Nassour that:

  • Adaptation requires recognition of the facts of climate change and vulnerability, and should draw on both science and traditional knowledge to find appropriate responses;
  • Scientific interaction with pastoralists is important for Chad. We are facing policy challenges in a wide range of domains, including the environment, land use, water management, and changes to the overall climate. Increased risks of conflict must be avoided through effective policy making and full participation of the concerned communities, notably pastoralists;
  • Africa needs to develop adequate policies and deployment of financial resources to overcome the constraints and ensure a robust and inclusive planning and evaluation process;
  • Atmospheric sciences allow forecasting of weather and seasonal pattern. Efforts need to be made in timely sharing these information with those concerned;
  • Financing is an important element in building the national adaptation platforms. International solidarity, whether in expertise or financing remains very valuable for Least Developed Countries.

Hindou OUMAROU IBRAHIM also works with the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, the Honorable Dr. Djime Adoum, to use sustainable, culturally, and economically sufficient methods of agriculture. Her research results:

  • Traditional knowledge must be included in science because it is itself a form of science;
  • Local breeds and traditional varieties of crops are emerging as more resistant and less demanding in terms of husbandry;
  • Most food production systems, farming, pastoralism and fishing in the country are still run at subsistence levels – this reality needs to shape policy making;
  • The introduction of improved, new or hybrid varieties require additional inputs, such as more water or fertilizers, which has cost implications for communities;
  • Innovative information communication technologies (ICTs) will be used to capture and document local knowledge in the
  • framework of the project;
  • National budgetary procedures need to take into consideration the inter-sectoral impact of climate change, and ensure early planning for adaptation. It is not wise to wait until a crisis unfolds before looking for resources to address it

In June 2012, Albuquerque will receive delegates including Salim Mohamed Ahmed SALMAN ( Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade, Ministry of Industry and Trade), AbdulMalik Abduljlil Ali AL-MIKHLAFI ( Shura Council, Joint Meeting Parties), and AbdulRahman Omer AbdulRahman AL-SAKKAF (Organizing Committee, Yemeni Socialist Party).

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