Zuma’s COP 17 challenge to leaders

first_img21 November 2011South African President Jacob Zuma has called on world leaders to “rise to the occasion and meet the expectations of millions around the world whose livelihoods depend on there being progress” at the UN Climate Change Conference starting in Durban on 28 November.As thousands of delegates from all over the world prepare to make their way to the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), taking place at Durban’s International Convention Centre from 28 November to 9 December, Zuma said South Africa was ready to welcome them.Speaking at a breakfast business briefing in Durban on Monday, Zuma said he was confident, following months of planning, that all was in place to ensure that the delegates were able to go about their business smoothly and efficiently during the conference.‘Can’t just be business as usual’He stressed, however, said the talks could not be a case of “business as usual”.“We trust that the state parties will rise to the occasion and meet the expectations of millions around the world whose livelihoods depend on there being progress in the climate change negotiations,” Zuma said.Global warming was already having a negative impact on Africa and the world at large, with changing weather patterns affecting the environment, health, natural resources, agriculture and food production, shelter as well as infrastructure worldwide.Zuma said it was for these reasons that the parties meeting in Durban had to take a step forward to solving these challenges.“In the African context, they must help to strike a balance between ensuring that climate change does not reach dangerous levels on the one hand, and the need to grow our economies to eradicate poverty on the other.”Five-point vision for COP 17Outlining South Africa’s five-point vision for the conference, Zuma said that, firstly, the outcome should be balanced, fair and credible. To achieve this outcome, the conference approach had to be informed by the basic principles that underpinned the UN climate change negotiations.These principles, he said include multilateralism, environmental integrity, fairness, and the honouring of all international commitments and undertakings made in the climate change process.The next step, he said, was to ensure that the 2010 Cancun Agreements, which included the establishment of a Green Climate Fund, were operationalised. The President said developing countries demanded a prompt start for the Fund through its early and initial capitalisation.Thirdly, for Durban to be successful, the parties had to deal with the outstanding political issues remaining from the Bali Roadmap of 2007.This, according to Zuma, meant finding a resolution to the issue of the 2nd Commitment Period under the Kyoto Protocol, and agreeing on the legal nature of a future climate change system.Fourthly, adaptation was an essential element of the outcome of COP 17, as it is a key priority for many developing countries, particularly Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and Africa.Lastly, any outcome in Durban had to be adequate enough to adhere to the principle of environmental integrity.‘Low level of ambition cause for concern’“The low level of ambition in this regard is cause for concern,” Zuma said. “Parties must come to Durban expecting a credible, sustainable and implementable outcome.”South Africa’s position during the conference will be led by Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, while International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is the incoming COP president, taking over from Mexico.Zuma said South Africa would approach the talks “in a spirit of open consultation with all parties and stakeholders, and ensure that the discussions stay on track”.The country was already playing its part to mitigate the impacts of climate change, he added. Among the plans put in place by the government were the development of the “green” economy, as stipulated in the New Growth Path.Others included a social accord on “green” jobs signed last week by business, government and labour, and the integration of “green” industries in the country’s Industrial Policy Action Plan.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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First Test- Day 1: Sehwag, Dravid steer India to a commanding position

first_imgVirender Sehwag smashed a blistering 173 while Rahul Dravid marked his return to form with a fluent century as India took firm control of the first cricket Test against a hapless New Zealand in Ahmedabad on Friday.Electing to bat, India rode on Sehwag’s classy 22nd century and Dravid’s 30th ton to pile up an imposing 329 for three at close on the opening day.Sehwag and Dravid (104) put on a record 237-run partnership for the second wicket against New Zealand to lay the platform for a mammoth first innings total on a batting friendly track at the Sardar Patel Stadium.They eclipsed the previous record of 204 which stood in the name of Sunil Gavaskar and Surinder Amarnath in Auckland in 1976.The hosts lost opener Gautam Gambhir (21) in the pre-lunch session but Sehwag and Dravid tormented the insipid New Zealand attack with a flurry of strokes to take India to a commanding position before being dismissed in quick succession at the fag end of the day.Sachin Tendulkar (13), who needs just one more century to record the amazing feat of 50 Test tons, and the stylish VVS Laxman (7) were at the crease at stumps on a day which saw the hosts completely dominate the bowling.The Kiwis compounded their misery by dropping as many as three catches with Sehwag being the beneficiary on two occasions– once when he was on 144 and then on 155.With lot of batting yet to come, New Zealand would be pinning their hopes on the second new ball – taken soon after it was due when India were 310 for two – to restrict the Indian first innings score to a reasonable level.advertisementSehwag’s innings was a blast typical of the Delhi daredevil as he cut loose against the New Zealand bowlers with a flourish, clobbering 24 boundaries and a six.But for a knee injury, that forced him to use a runner after tea, Sehwag could have continued to blast his way.Neither pace nor spin did anything to unsettle him before a loose prod, from the crease, saw him bowled through the gate by rival captain Daniel Vettori after tea.Dravid, who joined Sehwag after the latter had strung a stand of 60 with Gautam Gambhir (21) for the first wicket, started very slowly, before opening out to slam his 30th century in his 145th Test.To make matters worse, the visitors also dropped both the century-makers. Dravid was let off by wicket keeper Gareth Hopkins off the bowling of Jesse Ryder who had earlier accounted for Gambhir. The batsman was on 28 in a team score of 192 for one.Sehwag was given two reprieves by the butter-fingered Kiwis. Off spinner Jeetan Patel, who took a lot of stick from the Delhi opener, dropped the dasher off his own bowling at 144. Eleven runs later substitute Martin Guptill floored a dolly at mid-on off debutant Kane Williamson.In the morning, it was Sehwag who stole the show as he drove, cut and slashed his way to 87 not out, with 15 fours and off 84 balls, before lunch in a team score of 127 for one.The swashbuckler was particularly harsh on Chris Martin, the pace spearhead, and off spinner Jeetan Patel by carting them around for boundaries with total disdain.He slowed down a bit after the break when in the 90s but then opened out again by carting Vettori, who was the bowler who kept him quiet for the most, for two fours to race to his century in 111 balls.Dravid, who inched his way to 12 in 51 balls before lunch, steadily grew in confidence and attacked in the post-lunch session that produced 116 runs in 32 overs as India reached 243 for one.The century was Sehwag’s sixth, and first here, in just over a 12-month period and 13 Tests during which he and his idol Tendulkar have been the bulwarks of the Indian batting.It was also his second ton against the Kiwis.The Delhi dasher had come into the match with five 100-plus and one 200-plus scores, aside from five other 50-plus knocks that also included a 99.Debutant pacer Hamish Bennett and the seasoned Martin tried to unsettle Sehwag and Dravid with the short ball and the latter was also hit on the side of the helmet by the debutant after tea that needed medical attention.But overall the Kiwis attack lacked teeth in conditions ideal for batting. The wickets of Sehwag and Dravid have given Kiwis some hope for the morrow.After the dismissals of Sehwag and Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman ensured that there were no further setbacks till the close of play.advertisementIndia had brought fit-again batsmen Laxman and Gambhir back into the team in place of Bangalore Test debutant Cheteshwar Pujara and centurion Murali Vijay.But Ishant Sharma, who also was absent for the previous Test, was left out and S Sreesanth retained his place.New Zealand capped 20-year-old batsman Williamson and the 23-year-old Bennett while leaving out experienced batsman Martin Guptill and fast bowler Tim Southee.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

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Bombay gharana is alive and well

first_imgAjinkya Rahane.The Bombay School of batsmanship was a function of maidan cricket.With the gene pool constricted and restricted, Bombay which metamorphosed into Mumbai also lost its mojo in cricket.The cornerstone of the Bombay school was unarguably a unique guru-shishya relationship. The Bombay gharana goes back years and years and if one looks at its genealogy, it is predicated on every era and generation producing a champion batsman or two. A batter with a larger than life persona, at one level, a true blue megastar whose body of work sometimes subsumes the great game itself.Maximum city Mumbai has an intense kinetic energy which defies the adversity that its people face in the daily hurly burly of life. Yet there is a calmness and single mindedness of purpose, backed by a commitment to constantly raise the bar. This was reflected in their cricket, displaying a singular khadoosness, a state of mind, an attitude, a toughness or aloofness which allowed them to be the best. And always, the art form of batsmanship was nurtured and harnessed on the maidans of cricket.CompetitionAs I watched Ajinkya Rahane play close to his body at Lord’s and then counter attack with a rash of pulls and hooks, in my mind’s eye, I thought the art form is alive and well. The diminutive batsman with all the bearing and poise of the Bombay School looked like the genuine article if not the finished article. Three knocks in South Africa, New Zealand and now England on pitches conducive to seam and fast bowling have shown that the next little man may have arrived from the fabled stable. The joke doing the rounds, when India was put into bat on a green wicket at Lord’s, was that – we have come here to play cricket not tennis at Wimbledon.advertisementDurban, Wellington and now Lord’s have shown the pugnacious but attacking batsman could be the next big thing from Bombay. Coached by Pravin Amre, himself a former member of the Bombay School, Rahane’s adroit handling of the new ball is what sets him apart. Blessed with most of the ingredients that go into making of a technically sound batsman, one can argue a handful of swallows don’t make a summer. Yet, he holds out hope.I will give you a couple of instances of this obsessiveness for perfection, something that one finds missing in Mumbai boys now. Ravi Shastri was the embodiment of running this gauntlet in flesh and mind – an outsider, a non Maharashtrian – while playing for Don Bosco, Karnataka Sporting Association or Bombay and India. Like many others of his ilk, he woke up at 5:30 am, took the suburban train to Azad Maidan for practice, finished up and took another train back to King’s Circle to get to school every morning. Playing to win was the only motto and putting a price on your wicket was ingrained from an early age. Middle-class Maharashtrians ran a relay race, passing the baton from one to another. I will not take you back in the Wellsian Time Machine to a distant age, but only a few decades back to remind you of this inspiring lineage.FervourSchools and gully cricket was the edifice of this trade, perfected on the maidans, an area around Shivaji Park and Dadar Union becoming the epicentre of this gargantuan conveyor belt of talent. These cricketers were driven and hungry. Boys besotted with the game came out of the Shivaji Park-Hindu Colony area of Dadar, looking to carve a livelihood and make their tryst with izzat and shaurat. It is pertinent to note the Marathi enclave of Shivaji Park-Hindu Colony was a sea of talent, from the western side where Shivaji Maharaj’s statue guards the vast expanse of the maidan to the eastern side where educational institutions like R A Podar and Ramnarain Ruia college and King George – now rechristened Raja Shivaji Vidyalaya – which overlooks Matunga Maidan or Major Ramesh Dadkar Kreedangan as it is called, boosted this cult of cricket. Neophytes came from the stables of Shivaji Park Gymkhana and Dadar Union, on the other side of the railway tracks, galvanised by a fervour to become a Bombay and then India cricketer.In a way, a strange confluence of Maharashtrian middle class psyche, and sensibilities, which were bred in the congested inner city, drove this hunger. There was an element of another Bambiya tadka in this mix – khunnas or a sense of anger emanating from arrogance – which burned deep within the pits of these cricketers coming off the assembly line. And then, it all dissipated suddenly in Bombay but was burnished in distant parts – Karnataka, Delhi, Hyderabad, and then as part of a larger democratization process, it spread to Ranchi, UP, Odisha, Kerala and now J&K with Parvez Rasool.advertisementContinuanceAs the dying embers of Bombay cricket are getting a leg up with the emergence of Rahane, one longs for the tussle for suzerainty that existed in the cut throat Kanga League where Dadar Union, Shivaji Park Gymkhana, Sunder CC, Parsi Cyclists, Matunga Gymkhana, National, Baronet, New Hind, United and CCI vied for supremacy, while in the Times Shield one saw seesaw contests between the Tatas, ACC, Kohinoor Mills, Cipla, Western Railway, Mafatlals and finally Nirlon battle for the crown. That culture is all over and hence the drying up of talent wells. History will tell you the first commoners who broke through the yoke of princely fetters in Indian cricket were maidaners – Vijay Manjrekar and Subhash Gupte. Both played for Mahim Juveniles, then Shivaji Park, and finally India. In between, they played as professionals for Rajasthan and Bengal, just as Vijay Hazare and Vinoo Mankad plied their trade, in a different age, for the Jamsaheb of Nawanagar, and the Maharajah of Baroda.The relay race saw Vijay Merchant, Russi Modi, Vijay Hazare give way to Polly Umrigar, Vijay Manjrekar, Madhav Apte (coached in part by the legendary Duleepsinghji) who handed over the baton to Ajit Wadekar, Ashok Mankad and Sunil Gavaskar, who passed it on to Dilip Vengsarkar, Sandeep Patil and Ravi Shastri. The next generation saw Sanjay Manjrekar, Sachin Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli and Pravin Amre, and then abruptly, it all ended. Amol Mazumdar never made it through, though Rohit Sharma, a Mumbaikar, but not a Maharashtrian, has given us glimpses of this great tradition. Now Rahane ignites the same passion in all us diehard cricket junkies.Bombay cricket is the last bastion, standing for and upholding a heritage with a unique synthesis of a classical style and technical perfectitude. It is good that Amre is playing the role of a guru to his shishya Rahane to keep this flame burning. Clearly, the relay is still running.last_img read more

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