Wins at WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Worldwide 2021

Sophi Dynamic Paywall wins global award for Best Paid Media Strategy

TORONTO, Dec. 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —, The Globe and Mail’s artificial intelligence-based automation, optimization and prediction engine, won WAN-IFRA’s 2021 Digital Media Awards Worldwide award in the Best Paid Media Strategy category for Sophi Dynamic Paywall, its real-time, personalized paywall engine that analyses both content characteristics and user behaviour to determine when to ask a reader for money or an email address, and when to leave them alone.

The judges unanimously selected Sophi Dynamic Paywall as the winner, with one judge commenting: “What Globe and Mail did is state of the art and what I appreciate most is that they permanently tested against the old paywall so those results are really, really sustainable.”

The World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA)’s Digital Media Awards Worldwide is the news media industry’s global digital media competition. The worldwide winners are selected from the winners of the regional Digital Media Awards in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and South Asia, which together provide news publishers with regular showcases for best-practice innovation in digital publishing worldwide. The awards recognize and celebrate the best of digital media.

“Sophi Dynamic Paywall has been crucial to driving reader revenue at The Globe and Mail,” said Phillip Crawley, Publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail. “I look forward to sharing more stories about how Sophi’s other customers are seeing great results with our AI-powered technology.”

Sophi is an artificial-intelligence system that helps publishers identify their most valuable content and leverage it to achieve key business goals. The Sophi suite of tools also consists of Sophi Site Automation which autonomously curates content across all of a publisher’s digital properties and Sophi Content Paywall which uses complex natural language processing models to analyze every piece of content and select articles to put in front of or behind a hard paywall, maximizing the value of both the subscription revenue opportunity and the advertising revenue for publishers.

Publishers on five continents now use Sophi’s AI and ML technology to power paywall decisions, website automation and print automation.

About ( was developed by The Globe and Mail to help content publishers make important strategic and tactical decisions. It is a suite of AI-powered tools that includes Sophi Site Automation and Sophi for Paywalls. Sophi is designed to improve the metrics that matter most to your business, such as subscriber retention and acquisition, engagement, recency, frequency and volume. Sophi also powers automated laydown of print and ePaper publishing.


Jamie Rubenovitch 
Head of Marketing, Sophi 
The Globe and Mail 

Huawei and UNESCO to Implement Project in Africa for Digital Education Systems

The three-year project will deliver online learning platforms for Ghana, Ethiopia, and Egypt

SHENZHEN, China, Dec. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — At an online meeting on November 25, UNESCO and Huawei announced the launch of the implementations phase of the Technology-Enabled Open Schools for All (TeOSS) project in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Egypt.

UNESCO and Huawei announced the launch of the implementations phase of the Technology-Enabled Open Schools for All (TeOSS) project in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Egypt.

Aligned with UN SDG4, TeOSS will serve as a basis for powering the digital transformation of the education sector and support the three UNESCO member states in building resilient education systems that can withstand global disruptions such as COVID-19. Evaluating project outcomes will help guide strategies and models for scaling out TeOSS at a national level, and for expanding the project to other African nations to drive ICT integration into teaching and learning.

In addition to connecting schools, the TeOSS projects in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Egypt will provide training for teachers and students in the use of digital tools, establish online platforms to link school and home learning, and develop digital curricula that can be accessed remotely without supervision. It is aimed to help students become confident digital citizens capable of navigating the virtual world independently and equip teachers with the skills required to use existing and new digital tools to maximize learning outcomes.

“The project is designed to test schooling models that can respond immediately to new challenges imposed by the pandemic and also leverage technology to help enable the development of future models of schooling,” said Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO. “It is defined by a digital school model that makes programs accessible for all students, whether in times of crisis or not – it is a case of going beyond the current situation and opening a new horizon of teaching and learning.”

Planned in close collaboration with the governments of Ghana, Ethiopia, and Egypt in line with their existing national strategies, the TeOSS projects have been developed to meet specific local needs.

In Egypt, an ICT skills framework has been developed for teachers and students in K12 schools. Digital courseware development experts and primary and junior high school teachers will receive training, and a National Distance Learning Centre will be established for use by educators nationwide to ensure continuity in professional development.

“Egypt’s new education system 2.0 emphasizes the integration of technology into the educational process with multiple digital learning resources and learning platforms to ensure education for all and achieve educational quality and access.” said Dr. Reda Hegazy, Deputy Minister for Teachers’ Affairs for the Ministry of Education and Technical Education in Egypt. “The teacher’s role has shifted from providing information to being a guide and facilitator of the educational process through digital learning resources.”

The TeOSS project in Ethiopia will focus on ICT infrastructure build-out to connect pilot schools, train teachers and students, and build a Learning Management System integrated with a Teacher Training Platform.

“Ethiopia understands very well the need for ICT and digitalization in our future schooling system to deliver quality and inclusive education equitably for all, without any disruptions, as stipulated in our new education sector roadmap,” said Dr. Fanta Mandefiro from the State of Ministry of Education of Ethiopia. “This project is perfectly aligned with our aspirations and the activities of our programs and initiatives for utilizing digital content in our education system.”

In Ghana, the focus is on creating digital content for all subjects, as well as providing training for teachers and students at Primary and JHS schools. The project will also build an e-repository that teachers can use to upload content and which learners can access online and offline with little or no supervision.

“I am glad to note that this UNESCO-HUAWEI is building on the already established partnerships and collaborative efforts with our national institutions, particularly CENDLOS, which is the institution mandated by the Government of Ghana to facilitate the integration of ICT into the education system across the board,” said Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education for Ghana.

TeOSS is aligned the Tech4Edu domain of Huawei’s digital inclusion initiative TECH4ALL, which aims to drive education equity and quality with technology.

“The digital platforms that Technology-enabled Open Schools for All will create mean that learning never needs to stop – whatever the future holds,” said Kevin Zhang, CMO of ICT Infrastructure for Huawei. “Huawei is fully committed to working with UNESCO, governments, and all stakeholders to deliver successful, sustainable, and scalable projects.”

The TeOSS project and the partnerships that will implement it are crucial for digitalizing education and driving equitable and inclusive access to lifelong learning opportunities for all.

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Luxury Portfolio International Releases State of Luxury Real Estate Report 2022

SOLRE 2022 – State of Luxury Real Estate

SOLRE 2022 – State of Luxury Real Estate Report – Luxury Portfolio International

Number of Luxury Real Estate Sellers Increases Globally; Some Buyers Expressing FOMO (Strong Fear of Missing Out); Sustainability ‘Critically Important’ Among Affluent Buyers Worldwide

Latest Report Comprises Data from Top 1-5% Bracket Surveyed Across 20 Countries, Representing an Affluent Population of Almost 32 Million Households

NEW YORK, Dec. 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Luxury Portfolio International® (LPI), the world’s premier network of luxury residential real estate brokerages, is pleased to share the results of its 2022 State of Luxury Real Estate Report (SOLRE). The study comprises data from individuals in the top 1% to 5% income bracket across 20 countries, and touches on a broad range of topics crucial to the global luxury residential real estate market.

Most notably, the LPI report reveals a continuation of dominating home purchasing-related trends that began during Q3 2020 and continued throughout all of 2021, showing that demand for luxury real estate remains high; price increases expected to continue; supply remains lower than demand; time-on-the-market for luxury single-family homes often continues to “last just hours”; and sustainability is ‘Critically Important’ (66 percent) when considering future home purchases.

The study also shows an increase in the number of affluent sellers of residential real estate worldwide; that among luxury homes buyers, the majority (74 percent) shared strong feelings of a personal economic confidence and still 75 percent are significantly concerned that their discretionary spending power could be tested soon.

And while 2022 is expected to continue at a fast pace, there are signs that the luxury residential real estate market will be increasingly stabilizing, a crucial step to avoid complications for a long-term, super-heated market.

With 75 percent of luxury home buyers choosing their next home with environmental sustainability headlining a broad range of findings from a study of the world’s affluent households by Luxury Portfolio International® (LPI), 2021 ends as one of the most robust luxury residential real estate markets in history.

“After a record-breaking year in luxury real estate, we anticipate that some balance will be restored to the market,” said Mickey Alam Khan, President of LPI. “It is important to view the luxury market over a trajectory of several years, noting that half of 2020 was in paralysis due to the pandemic. The red-hot market that began in the latter part of 2020 continued into 2021 and will continue a positive trajectory into 2022. The difference will be that there will be more luxury sellers in 2022 than in 2021, and while there will be fewer actual luxury buyers, it is still a seller’s market. The pandemic madness that drove us to an over-heated market is being normalized. Demand will remain strong, and a healthy, new normal in luxury real estate will start to take hold in 2022.”

Sustainability, according to the study, is now a major differentiator in luxury homes, and buyers are willing to pay a premium to have features and amenities that better prepare them for the future. 75 percent of those surveyed noted choosing their next home with sustainability in mind, with an unprecedented 90 percent noting “yes” as to factoring sustainability in relation to a Next Chapter in Life home search. According to the study, a “Next Chapter in Life” home search pertains to those moving to be closer to family, because of their children’s education, a career move, and other mitigating factors.

People interested in sustainability as a major factor of their home purchase are 71 percent more likely to view the purchase as a legacy home that will be passed on to their heirs. Further, as interest in sustainability grows, the quality of the buyer improves for the benefit of the seller, in that this buyer wants to transact sooner and for a relatively higher budget.

FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out is the feeling of anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media. With a year at home and headlines touting the hot market, FOMO has become a significant concern for 26 percent of luxury buyers. FOMO manifests in different ways, first as a true “missed the boat” moment where prices extend beyond reach. A second concern – equally impactful – is arranging finances for major purchases.

While COVID-19 remains a significant concern, the study revealed that the market has already accounted for much of its effects. This compared to last year when the top trend in luxury real estate was finding a home that would accommodate the family that works from home.

That said, according to the study, working from home, is wearing on a substantial percentage of luxury home buyers. The Study revealed that 27 percent of luxury buyers cited working from home as a ‘significant concern.’ Remote work and the associated frustration and stress of being home continues to play a significant role in the purchase decision process.

Buyers concerned about de-stressing their work-from-home environment noted diversions such as entertainment at home, night life nearby, and relaxation-inducing amenities like a spa/hot tub, a specialty cocktail scale, and specialty rooms for media and gaming.

Additional key findings from the research include:

  • Globally, the affluent class remains highly interested in purchasing residential real estate at any price, with a 33 percent increase year-over-year. There is no doubt that 2021 will end with a backlog of buyers, setting up 2022 as another strong year for luxury real estate.
  • Over 14 million affluent households remain interested in buying a residence, of which 6.4 million are in the luxury category. An additional 1.2 million luxury homeowners have found an interest in selling in the next 3 years, up 32 percent from last year. Record valuations no doubt play a key role in this decision.
  • Working together, these factors indicate global price stabilization and market normalization is in store for 2022 and beyond. What once appeared to be a wide chasm between the number of potential buyers and sellers (10.3MM buyers and 4.0MM sellers) is moving appropriately towards equilibrium (6.4MM buyers and 5.2MM sellers).
  • The global trend for residential real estate demand will continue to grow in 2022. The percentage of individuals in the market to purchase residential real estate by the end of 2022 increased from 19 percent in 2021 to 39 percent in 2022 in Europe, and from 30 percent in 2021 to 37 percent in 2022 in Asia/Pacific. 46 percent of those surveyed from the Middle East, specifically consumers from Saudi Arabia and the UAE have the greatest interest in acquiring residential real estate, as those individuals continue to diversify their holdings. North America shows modest growth from 21 percent in 2021 to 25 percent in 2022.
  • Luxury homeowners are coming around to selling. With new construction experiencing delays due to the challenges with goods and services, there is a consistent interest in existing homes. However, owners were not necessarily in the market to sell last year, and consequently the lack of inventory has been a significant price driver in most luxury markets. Now, it seems that luxury owners are convinced that the iron is hot and their interest in selling has increased by more than double (to 28 percent from 11 percent). In fact, 71 percent of owners believe their home value will increase this year, creating a strong incentive to sell. The average luxury homeowner expects an increase of approximately 4–5 percent compared to 3–4 percent last year.
  • Psychologically it remains a seller’s market. In practice, we can expect a more balanced ratio of buyers and sellers in the years to come. As affluent consumers participate in the residential market, luxury-residence seekers are down 58 percent in 2021 (from 34 percent to 20 percent of the total affluent), while conversely, in this delicate balancing act, the number of luxury sellers is on the rise by 26 percent (up to 16 percent from 13 percent of the total affluent).
  • While the flight to suburbia has been a major COVID headline, the research reveals that city-center luxury residential real estate is alive-and-well. Over half of luxury buyers worldwide (55 percent) expect to buy their next residence in a city and 77 percent will be within commuting range. Notably, Asia-Pacific luxury buyers are significantly more likely to buy in the city center than their global counterparts.
  • Single-family home popularity surges beyond North America. The research revealed that the popularity of single-family homes is growing on a global scale, with 40 percent of Europe/Middle East buyers and 29 percent of Asia-Pacific buyers seeking the luxury of additional space and privacy. Year on year, demand for this type of housing is increasing as, collectively, shared living spaces are becoming less attractive to the luxury buyer. North America remains the top driver for demand of this type of residence.
  • A new class of entry-level luxury buyer enters the market. Across the full spectrum of affluent consumers, there is greater interest in purchasing real estate under $1 million. This signals a resurgence of upper-middle class buyers who delayed in purchasing due to the pandemic, or who are now willing and able to acquire. Consequently, this is creating an increase in the number of entry-level luxury buyers, up to 44 percent from 39 percent in the USD 1-1.9 million range. This democratic luxury-for-the-many effect is most pronounced in North America and less so in Asia Pacific and Europe/Middle East, where the wealthy class tends to skew toward relatively small groups of people with very high concentrations of wealth.

For additional information, and access to the report, click here: State of Luxury Real Estate 2022.

Luxury Portfolio International ( is the leading network of the world’s premier luxury real estate brokerages and their top agents, offering unparalleled marketing and intelligence services across the globe. It is the luxury arm of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® the global network of top independent real estate firms, with 550 companies and 150,000 sales associates in 70 countries. Last year, network members participated in over 1.3 million global transactions. LPI attracts a global audience of visitors from over 200 countries/territories every month and markets more than 50,000 luxury homes annually. Well Connected.™

Source: Luxury Portfolio International®

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

A PDF is available at


UnionPay International and Swaziland Building Society reward customers in eSwatini with E One Million Buy’n Save shopping vouchers

MBABANE, eSwatini, Dec. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — UnionPay International (UPI), Swaziland Building Society (SBS) and Buy ‘n Save Spar jointly announced today a three-month customer rewarding campaign in eSwatini, celebrating an early festive season with One Million Emalangeni worth of shopping vouchers.

The campaign invites customers to shop at Buy ‘n Save Spar stores nationwide and receive an instant share of E1million for their next shopping trip.

SBS has been issuing UnionPay debit, platinum and diamond cards in the Kingdom of eSwatini since June 2021. This debut plays a significant role in transforming eSwatini’s digital financial services capabilities, contributing to economic growth, improving financial inclusion, and creating a sustainable future.

“We are delighted to launch this campaign with SBS and Buy ‘n Save Spar,” said Mr. Luping Zhang, General Manager of Africa Branch, UnionPay International. “We strongly appreciate and support SBS’ effort to give back to the community, driving tangible value and digital innovation to repaint the payment landscape in eSwatini”.

“With the UnionPay debit card voucher program, we are celebrating the festive season with customers and thanking them for being loyal to the SBS brand. We trust the partnership between the three brands will brighten up the season for our customers.”

The SBS UnionPay cards can be used at any point-of-sales nationwide. The cards can also transact online as well as withdraw cash from ATMs, providing an inclusive payment environment for all customer needs. With over 59 years of steady growth, the SBS is an innovative financial service provider offering customer-centric transactional and digital financial services.

Buy ‘n Save SPAR stores are strategically positioned in the country’s major cities and towns offering customers value for their money. Qualifying SBS customers who shop at Buy ‘n Save SPARs will be rewarded during the promotion.

With over 160 million UnionPay cards issued outside mainland China, UnionPay has expanded its acceptance network to 180 countries and regions in recent years. At present, UnionPay cards are widely accepted in Africa across all sectors, effectively meeting the diverse purchasing needs of UnionPay cardholders visiting and living on the continent. UnionPay cards have been issued in over 10 African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Madagascar and Mauritius. UnionPay has launched various innovative payment products in Africa in response to the worldwide digital transformation and financial inclusion.

WHO donates 3,000 oxygen cylinders to the Ethiopian Public Health Institute to strengthen the capacity of COVID-19 treatment centres

On 30 November 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) delivered to the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) 500 of the 3,000 oxygen cylinders procured for the institute to improve access to oxygen for critical care and strengthen the oxygen capacity of health facilities providing COVID-19 treatment services.

“As COVID-19 continues to be a major public health concern causing severe illness and death in Ethiopia, it is imperative that we join hands with the government including through the provision of critical equipment and supplies to support every aspect of pandemic response,” said Dr Jane Maina, Officer in Charge of the WHO Ethiopia Emergency Preparedness and Response programme.

As countries go through waves of the pandemic, hospitalizations overwhelm health systems, putting an enormous burden on health workers and disrupting essential health services. Patients needing critical care will have to wait in line to receive life-saving interventions due to shortages created from case surge. WHO is making this donation of oxygen cylinders to mitigate such overwhelming challenges to the Ethiopian health system and reduce complications and death from COVID-19 and other life-threatening conditions.

Mr Aschalew Abayneh, Deputy Director General of EPHI and National COVID-19 Incident Manager, appreciated WHO’s continued technical, financial and material support in the country’s response to COVID-19. “The continuous donations from WHO have demonstrated the organization’s determination and commitment to fight the pandemic and build a community with a shared future for Ethiopia,” He said. “The donated cylinders will help hospitals provide the life-saving care their patients need, and ensure that patients will have access to uninterrupted oxygen while receiving treatment.”

The 3,000 oxygen cylinders were procured at a total cost of 53,618,355 Ethiopian birr, equivalent to 1,134,789 US dollars. The first batch of 500 cylinders was delivered at the handing-over ceremony today and the remaining 2,500 cylinders will be delivered in batches over the next couple of months.

WHO remains committed to supporting the Government of Ethiopia’s efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 by enhancing prevention measures, supporting COVID-19 vaccination, and helping improve case management. The organization will continue to work with the government in strengthening the delivery of essential health services as well as response to the various health and humanitarian emergencies in the country alongside the response to COVID-19.


Source: World Health Organization

Desert Locust: Current upsurge (2019–2021), 29 November 2021

● Cyclones in May and October brought heavy rains that gave rise to favourable breeding conditions in the Empty Quarter of the southern Arabian Peninsula for at least nine months since June.
● As a result, three generations of breeding occurred that was undetected and not controlled.

● JANUARY: the first swarms left the Empty Quarter to Yemen and Saudi Arabia, reaching southwest Iran where heavy rains fell.
● FEBRUARY-JUNE: widespread spring breeding in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran caused large numbers of swarms to form. Control operations were less successful in Iran and Yemen.
● JUNE-DECEMBER: swarms invade the Indo-Pakistan border from Iran and up to three generations occur due to longer than normal monsoon, giving rise to large numbers of swarms; In Yemen, swarms form and move to N Somalia and Ethiopia where breeding occurs and more swarms form.
● OCTOBER-DECEMBER: Swarms move from Ethiopia and N Somalia to Eritrea, Djibouti, E Ethiopia, the Ogaden, C and S Somalia to reach NE Kenya; hopper bands and swarms form along parts of the Red Sea coastal plains in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and Sudan.

● JANUARY: Swarms continue to invade, spread, mature and lay eggs in Ethiopia and Kenya. Hatching occurs in NE Somalia. Other swarms move into interior of Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
● FEBRUARY: Swarms continue in Kenya, a few reach Uganda and South Sudan, groups reach Tanzania. Widespread hatching and bands in Kenya. Other swarms reach both sides of Persian Gulf.
● MARCH: widespread hatching causes a new generation of swarms to form in Ethiopia and Kenya. A few swarms invade Uganda and South Sudan. Widespread swarm laying and hatching in southern Iran.
● APRIL: More swarms form, mature and lay eggs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Yemen. Second-generation hopper bands form in Iran and Pakistan.
● MAY: Another generation of hatching and band formation in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Yemen. Second-generation swarms form in Iran and Pakistan, and migrate to Indo-Pakistan, continuing to northern India.
● JUNE: Second-generation swarms form in NW Kenya and swarms form in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yemen. Spring-bred swarms continue to move to Rajasthan and northern states of India.
● JULY: More swarms form in NW Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yemen. Some swarms move N to Ethiopia, other swarms move from Yemen to NE Ethiopia. First-generation laying, hatching and band formation occurs along Indo-Pakistan border.
● AUGUST: Swarms mature and lay in NE Ethiopia, some swarms invade Eritrea and breed; immature swarms persist in NW Kenya and N Somalia; bands and swarms continue in Yemen interior, some swarms move to SW Saudi Arabia.
● SEPTEMBER: Widespread hatching and band formation in NE Ethiopia and Yemen, immature swarms persist in N Somalia, N Kenya. Swarms arrive in E Sudan and lay. SW Asia returns to calm.
● OCTOBER: Numerous swarms form in Ethiopia and move E; swarms mature and lay in NE Somalia and move S; breeding declines in Yemen interior but bands and swarms form on Red Sea coast; bands form in E Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia.
● NOVEMBER: Widespread breeding in E Ethiopia and C Somalia cause bands and swarms; cyclone Gati in NE Somalia allow extension of breeding to N; Red Sea coast breeding with bands and swarms in Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia.
● DECEMBER: More swarms form in E Ethiopia and C Somalia that move to S Ethiopia and NE Kenya (21 December); breeding in N Somalia and Red Sea coast continues.

● JANUARY: Numerous swarms continue to invade S Ethiopia and N+C Kenya and a few to NE Tanzania; swarms move to NE Ethiopia and Eritrea; swarms move from Yemen to Saudi Arabia; more breeding in N Somalia and Red Sea coast, primarily Saudi Arabia.
● FEBRUARY: Swarms remain immature and decline in Kenya and Ethiopia; a few swarms in NE Tanzania; more swarms form in N Somalia; swarms form on Saudi Arabia Red Sea coast and move inland to spring breeding areas and lay.
● MARCH: Swarms continue to decline due to control operations and poor rains in the Horn of Africa as upsurge eases; laying, hatching and band formation in Saudi Arabia interior; a few swarms migrate to SW Iran via Kuwait.
● APRIL: Swarms end in Kenya but rains in Ethiopia and NW Somalia all swarms to mature; mature groups & swarmlets move N from Saudi Arabia to Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Sinai (Egypt).
● MAY: Hatching and bands form in E Ethiopia and N Somalia; immature adult groups form in C Saudi Arabia and a few move S; local hatching and few bands in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria.
● JUNE: Swarms start to form at mid-month in NW Somalia and some in E Ethiopia and Djibouti; a few swarms from N Saudi Arabia reach N Yemen.
● JULY: Limited swarms arrive in NE Ethiopia with good rains; swarms decline in NW Somalia.
● AUGUST: Breeding likely in NE Ethiopia but conflict prevents operations; remnant swarms in N Somalia; breeding and few bands in Yemen.
● SEPTEMBER: Hopper bands and immature swarms form in Afar, SE Tigray, E Amhara but surveys and control not possible due to conflict; few spring-bred swarms persist in N Somalia; new swarms form in Yemen interior.
● OCTOBER: Few small mature groups and swarms from N Ethiopia move to Eritrea coast and lay; hatching and bands form in NE Somalia; small-scale breeding with few hopper bands on coast in S Yemen; summer-bred hoppers and adult form groups in N Sudan.


Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Activities of Secretary-General in United Kingdom, 10–13 November

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Glasgow, United Kingdom, on the morning of Wednesday, 10 November.

After his arrival, he had an internal meeting with the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa, and his climate team at the COP26 venue.  This was followed by a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, and the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon.

Later in the afternoon, he met with the United States Congressional Delegation led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

He also met with a group of observers of the UNFCCC process and then with a group of ministers co-facilitating the different tracks of the negotiations.  This was done in conjunction with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson.

On Wednesday evening, the Secretary-General met with the Environment Minister of South Africa, Barbara Creecy.  He then had a live conversation on the Instagram social media platform with Nicole Becker, a youth climate activist from Argentina.

Later that evening, the Secretary-General met with the United States Envoy on Climate Change, John Kerry.  He later welcomed — in a tweet — the announcement by the United States and China that they would collaborate on the issue of climate change.

On Thursday morning, the Secretary-General met with the Environment Minister of Egypt, Yasmine Fouad, as well as Rania Almashat, Minister of International Cooperation, and Hala Helmy Elsaid Younes, Minister of Planning and Economic Development.

Later that morning, he had an interview with the Associated Press.  After his interview he attended a British remembrance ceremony at the United Kingdom Pavilion.  This was followed by a meeting with a group of mayors and then by a bilateral meeting with Alexei Overchuk, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and Ruslan Edelgeriyev, Advisor to the Russian President and Special Representative on Climate.

That afternoon, the Secretary-General had a bilateral meeting with Loupou Lamah, Minister for Environment of Guinea, who is the current Chair of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China.  He also met with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmerman.

He then spoke at the High-Level Event on Global Climate Action, where he said the announcements made in Glasgow were encouraging – but far from enough.  He underscored that the emissions gap remains a devastating threat and the finance and adaptation gaps represent a glaring injustice for the developing world.  He called for more ambition in future revised Nationally Determined Contributions and for implementation of countries’ pledges. (See Press Release SG/SM/21017.)

On Friday morning, the Secretary-General met with the Group of 77 and China Ministers.  This was followed by a meeting with the High Ambition Coalition and then with the Least Developed Countries Group, chaired by Bhutan, Nepal and Ethiopia.

At noon, the Secretary-General met with the Alliance of Small Island States.  In the afternoon, he watched the televised proceedings of the negotiating parties to the Climate Conference.  This was followed by a meeting with his climate team and the taping of a statement that would be released at the end of COP26.

On Saturday, the Secretary-General met with his climate team before departing mid-morning for the airport.  His statement was released when the Conference closed that evening.  (See Press Release SG/SM/20122.)

The Secretary-General arrived in New York later that day.


Source: United Nations