The Daily Dose: More pledges to donate COVID-19 vaccines; Learning how to farm in forests from ancient tribes.

The international vaccine diplomacy battle rages on. According to the Associated Press, “Leaders from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are set to commit at their summit to sharing at least 1 billion coronavirus shots with struggling countries around the world — half the doses coming from the U.S. and 100 million from the U.K. Vaccine sharing commitments from U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set the stage for the G-7 meeting in southwest England, where leaders will pivot Friday from opening greetings and a ‘family photo’ directly into a session on ‘Building Back Better From COVID-19.’” Who cares whether it is sincere or not? As long as people are now getting the vaccines they need, that’s all that matters.

For a few months, China had lagged behind other countries in terms of vaccinating its population. Those days are long gone. Now, they are again leading the world in  it’s effort to combat the novel Coronavirus. according to the journal Nature, “For more than a week, an average of about 20 million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 every day in China. At this rate, the nation would have fully vaccinated the entire UK population in little more than six days. China now accounts for more than half of the 35 million or so people around the world receiving a COVID-19 shot each day. Zoltán Kis, a chemical engineer in the Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub at Imperial College London, doesn’t know of ‘anything even close to those production scales’ for a vaccine. ‘The manufacturing efforts required in China to reach this high production throughput are tremendous,’ he says.”  If nothing else, the Chinese government is highly efficient when it needs to be.

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The marginalization of indigenous tribes often is accompanied by the loss of knowledge and traditions. A paper in the journal Science takes a look at how ancient indigenous tribes utilized surrounding forests as sources of Agriculture. They combined domesticated plants with Wild Ones In the forest. “Which came first in tropical forests—abundant food resources or domestication? Plant domestication is the process by which people of different cultures select, accumulate, care for, and disperse plant individuals, causing changes in the traits under selection. When applied to landscapes, domestication is the manipulation of ecosystems to expand the cultural niche of local societies and their food supply while expanding the distribution of domesticated species. Humans have expended much energy to guarantee the success of domesticated species —an interaction that preceded food production systems and advanced slowly.” the paper concludes that the positive feedback between local peoples and food availability unveils the possibility of conserving tropical forests while boosting food security and sovereignty. It might contribute to achieving the Zero Hunger goal of the Sustainable Development Goals. For this ancient feedback to continue functioning, societies need to recognize Indigenous and local peoples’ rights to their ancestral forest lands.

The processing of coffee beans results in the production of a lot of waste. Now, the unwanted parts have been transformed into renewable energy. According to the BBC, “This waste is now set to become a significant part of Ivory Coast’s transition to renewable energy. After successful pilot projects, Ivory Coast has begun work on a biomass plant which will run on cocoa waste. The facility will be located in Divo, a town that produces a large share of the country’s cocoa. In the biomass plant, cocoa plant matter left over after cocoa production will be burned to turn a turbine and generate electricity, much like a conventional fossil-fuel power plant.”

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there. Have a great weekend.

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