Local fishers oppose $2.7 billion deal opening Madagascar to Chinese fishing

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Two months ago, a little-known private Malagasy association signed a 10-year, $2.7 billion fishing deal — the largest in the country’s history — with a group of Chinese companies that plans to send 330 fishing vessels to Madagascar.Critics of the deal include the country’s fisheries minister, who said he learned about it in the newspaper; environmental and government watchdog groups; and local fishers, who are already struggling with foreign competition for Madagascar’s dwindling marine stocks.Critics say no draft of the deal has been made public and the association that signed it did not conduct an environmental impact assessment or any public consultation.The issue has drawn media attention in the run-up to the presidential election on Wednesday. The incumbent and a leading candidate, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, was present at the fisheries deal’s signing, although he later claimed not to be familiar with it. Life on the coast of Madagascar is increasingly precarious. In recent decades, the overexploitation of marine life has made it difficult for hundreds of thousands of small-scale fishers to make a living. So it’s no surprise that they are vocally opposing a new agreement to bring hundreds of additional Chinese vessels into their waters.Two months ago, a little-known and ostensibly private Malagasy association signed a 10-year, $2.7 billion fishing deal — the largest in the country’s history — with a group of Chinese companies that plans to send 330 fishing vessels to Madagascar. Madagascar’s president at the time, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, was in the room when the deal was signed in Beijing on Sept. 5, although he later claimed not to be familiar with it. No draft of the deal has been made public, and its opacity has drawn media attention in the run-up to the presidential election on Wednesday. Rajaonarimampianina stepped down as president on Sept. 7, two days after the deal was signed, to comply with Malagasy law that requires a sitting president to leave office 60 days before an election in which he is running. He is a leading candidate in the election.On the Madagascar side, the Agence Malagasy de Développement économique et de Promotion d’entreprises (AMDP) made the deal, which the group says was designed to promote the country’s “blue economy.” It did so without consulting the fisheries ministry, the national environment office, or civil society groups, many of which are now calling for the deal to be scrapped. These critics say the AMDP failed to set up an open bidding process and did not conduct an environmental impact assessment or any public consultation. They also note that there’s limited information on fishing efforts and catches in Madagascar’s waters, so any new projects should be taken on with extreme caution.“I can’t help but wonder how 330 vessels in our coastal zone would contribute to a blue economy. Not everything that happens in the ocean is ‘blue,’” Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, country director for the international NGO World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), wrote in an op-ed in one of Madagascar’s leading newspapers.Activists have started an online petition to revoke the agreement, and some members of the government are equally concerned. Augustin Andriamananoro, the minister of fisheries, went on national television to voice his opposition to the deal, which he said he first read about in a newspaper.“This could bring about discord and, if we are not careful, it will cause our ocean to be overexploited,” he told TV Plus Madagascar on Oct. 5. “Madagascar’s natural resources are in danger, especially the fish. The fishers are shocked and concerned.”A cartoon that ran on the Malagasy news site 2424.mg. The caption reads “Blue Economy = 10-year fishing deal with China.” Image courtesy of 2424.mg.A deal without detailsThe AMDP signed what it describes as a “framework agreement” with a consortium of seven unidentified Chinese companies known as Taihe Century (Beijing) Investment Development Co., Ltd. The AMDP has said in public statements that the agreement will be a boon to the local economy, and said in a press release from Beijing when the deal was signed that it would create 10,000 jobs over the next three years.“As a civil society actor, we heard the needs of traditional fishers,” Hugues Ratsiferana, the AMDP’s CEO, wrote in an email to Mongabay. He said that Malagasy people would operate 300 of the fishing vessels, and that these would all be new, 14-meter (46-foot) vessels with 1,200-kilogram-capacity (2,646-pound) iceboxes. The new equipment will allow Malagasy fishers to modernize and professionalize their fishing practices, he said. The remaining 30 vessels will be 28 meters (92 feet) in length and used for surveillance, rescue and collection of catch.Though there has been a slow trickle of information regarding the deal, the lack of transparency has concerned observers. “The scale of this investment is unprecedented in the island’s history,” reads an Oct. 12 statement on the website of Mihari, a network of locally managed marine associations in Madagascar. “It is a great source of concern for our Network members and the entire fishing industry, especially as we have little information about the content of the agreement or the manner in which it will be implemented.”Last week, AMDP representatives met with civil society groups and explained a bit more about the agreement. The first phase of the project, worth $700 million over three years, will include investments in fishing, aquaculture, shipyards and technical training, according to slides from the AMDP’s presentation. The second phase, worth $2 billion, will include more fishing, an aquaculture “base” and unspecified logistical services.The AMDP representatives did not specify where the vessels would be based, the fishing would be done, or the projects would take place — not even for a planned pilot project. Nor did they present a complete breakdown of how the $2.7 billion would be spent.In an apparent attempt to mollify critics, AMDP representatives said at the meeting that Malagasy people would have first access to the catch and only the surplus would be shipped to China. (It is unclear how Taihe would make money by selling the fish in Madagascar, a low-income country, and Ratsiferana did not reply to a question from Mongabay on this subject.) They also said that each individual project within the framework agreement would be subject to an environmental impact assessment.However, civil society groups are still not satisfied that the deal was made in a fair and transparent manner. “The AMDP failed to answer our most important questions,” Frédéric Lesné, head of advocacy at Transparency International (TI) – Madagascar Initiative, told Mongabay after attending the meeting.On Friday, TI and other civil society groups announced their ongoing opposition to the deal, saying the AMDP had no experience in the fisheries sector, had refused to disclose information about Taihe, and had not made any social or environmental impact studies public.The AMDP’s Ratsiferana told Mongabay that critical civil society groups had shown “great naïveté” and that opposition to the deal was politically motivated. “During the electoral period in Madagascar, the [online petition] signatories, and first and foremost Transparency International (TI), were manipulated by interests and political issues that go beyond them,” Ratsiferana told Mongabay, referring to the upcoming presidential elections. (TI declined to respond to this claim, saying it had no basis in fact.)Fishermen in southwestern Madagascar carry a pirogue to the sea. Image by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.What is the AMDP?Critics of the deal have also expressed concern about the AMDP’s unusual structure and unclear relationship to the Madagascar government and to then-president and current candidate Rajaonarimampianina.As president, Rajaonarimampianina officially launched the AMDP at the headquarters of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie in Paris in September 2016. Soon after, Madagascar hosted an international francophone summit, where the AMDP acted on behalf of the government to facilitate economic partnerships with other French-speaking countries. The group’s name, which identifies it as an “agency,” also implies that it is a government body.In the AMDP’s press release from Beijing in September, Rajaonarimampianina voiced his support for the fisheries deal — “the new silk roads run through Madagascar!” he said — and was one of a handful of people in the room when the deal was signed. The AMDP attached a photograph of the hand-shaking scene to the release, and Rajaonarimampianina can be seen at the back, in the middle.When questioned about the deal by Radio France Internationale (RFI), Rajaonarimampianina claimed not to know about it.Rajaonarimampianina has another tie to the AMDP: His son, Lovatiana Mickaël Rakotoarimanana, was on the AMDP’s board of directors when it was founded in 2016. (In an email to Mongabay, the AMDP’s Ratsiferana said Rakotoarimanana was no longer on the board.)Despite the AMDP’s work on behalf of the government and connections to the presidency, Ratsiferana said it was a “private association” and thus had no legal obligation to release a copy of the fisheries deal to the public.“[N]ot being a state-to-state agreement, but a protocol between private sectors and companies, we are bound to an obligation of confidentiality and private business secrecy,” Ratsiferana told Mongabay. “Have you ever seen in the press a publication of the agreement between Exxon and Aramco in the oil sector?” (Aramco, a state-owned oil company in Saudi Arabia, is notorious for its opacity.)But without a governmental mandate, it’s unclear how a private association like the AMDP could sign a deal of this scope, which will require, at the very least, a series of permits from the national environment office and licenses from the fisheries ministry. In response to a question regarding the AMDP’s authority to make such a sweeping international deal, Ratsiferana said, “The reality on the ground confirms a socio-economic backwardness in Madagascar and the need of the Malagasy population is clear: a better life. The AMDP is responding to this need.”The deal has drawn a lot of attention in local media and on social-media platforms, with many observers assuming corruption was a factor, or that the AMDP sold access to the president’s office. However, there is no direct evidence for either of these claims, and the AMDP has vigorously denied them. “I have not touched a single dollar,” Ratsiferana told RFI. “Neither me, nor the AMDP, nor Hery Rajaonarimampianina. I give you my word.”The president’s office, occupied in the interim by Rivo Rakotovao, a Rajaonarimampianina ally, declined to comment for this article. The AMDP declined to provide contact information for Taihe, and Mongabay was unable to reach the Beijing-based company, which has no online presence.Hery Rajaonarimampianina, who is running for reelection in this week’s presidential elections in Madagascar, spoke in London in 2015. Image courtesy of Chatham House via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).Foreign pressure on local fisheriesGlobally, China has the world’s largest fishing fleet. Chinese fishing companies, heavily subsidized by the government, have developed a reputation for overexploiting stocks and signing deals that lack transparency, or just not signing them at all. The vast majority of fishing by Chinese vessels goes unreported, amounting to about 2.5 million tons of catch per year around Africa alone, according to a 2012 European Union report.The Chinese fishing industry already had a presence in Madagascar prior to the signing of the agreement with the AMDP. Six Chinese vessels have been trawling for demersal and pelagic fish off southwest Madagascar since October 2017, according to the fisheries ministry. Small-scale fishers in the area say they feel the impact of the trawling on their catches, even from this relatively small fleet.“We mustn’t forget that with the arrival of just six industrial fishing boats in the Toliara region this year, some communities are already struggling to make ends meet,” Hermany Emoantra, a small-scale fisher in southwest Madagascar and Mihari’s president, said in the group’s statement. “So, imagine what could happen with 330 boats — how will these people live, where will they go?”Officially, these six are the only Chinese vessels working Madagascar’s waters, but the real number is believed to be much higher. Reports in the news and from local observers indicate that a large number of Chinese ships are working there illegally, sometimes using highly destructive fishing methods and strong-arm tactics to muscle local fishers off the water.But Madagascar’s small-scale fishers also face competition beyond the Chinese, for example from domestic and foreign industrial shrimp trawling and long-line tuna fishing by vessels from South Korea, Seychelles and Europe.Indeed, civil society groups are closely scrutinizing renegotiations of an EU fishing deal with Madagascar, which is due to expire at the end of the year. Fisheries experts have criticized past deals for prioritizing the profits of private EU companies over the interests of Malagasy people, and for lacking transparency. Late last month, Mihari and TI sent an open letter to both the Madagascar fisheries ministry and the EU asking for greater transparency and more cooperation with civil society groups during this round of negotiations.The fisheries deals with both the Europeans and the Chinese will be subject to at least an implicit approval by an incoming administration, which could quash them by denying foreign companies the necessary permits or licenses. So for Malagasy fishers, as for other sectors of society, much will depend on the results of the presidential election.A fishing boat in the town of Beheloke in southwestern Madagascar. Image by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.Banner image: A fishing boat in the town of Beheloke in southwestern Madagascar. Image by Rowan Moore Gerety for Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Rebecca Kesslercenter_img Biodiversity Hotspots, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, Corporate Responsibility, Corporations, Developing Countries, Environment, Environmental Economics, Finance, Fish, Fishing, Governance, Green, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Oceans, Poverty last_img read more

South Africa, Botswana sign trade agreement

first_imgPresident Jacob Zuma and President Ian Khama met in Gabarone, Botswana, to discuss political and economic relations between the two countries.(Image: GCIS) South Africa and Botswana signed a memorandum of understanding to promote trade and investment between the two countries.(Image: Wilma den Hartigh) MEDIA CONTACTS • Mac Maharaj,  The Presidency  +27 79 879 3203 RELATED ARTICLES • National development plan unveiled • Zuma address: SA wants job focus • No stopping Africa’s growth: Zuma • Zuma talks partnerships, jobs and other thingsWilma den HartighSouth Africa and Botswana have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote trade and investment between the two countries and create opportunities for industrialisation and the manufacturing sectors.The signing follows a two-day state visit by President Jacob Zuma to Gaborone with the purpose to strengthen political and economic relations with the neighbouring country.His visit was a follow-up to the October 2010 one by President Ian Khama to Pretoria, during which the two countries reviewed progress in various areas of bilateral cooperation.

The MOU was signed by the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre and Trade and Investment South Africa, a unit of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), at the South Africa-Botswana Business Forum.A high level ministerial delegation from South Africa that included DTI Minister Rob Davies, and his Botswana counterpart, Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, also participated in the proceedings. Also at the forum were also prominent business leaders from various sectors.Strengthening economiesThe signing also marks a significant move to strengthen existing economic ties between the two countries.“We are looking to promote deeper mutually beneficial economic relations between the two countries,” said Davies.South Africa and Botswana are already trading partners, with local companies having a major presence in various sectors of Botswana’s economy such as mining, housing, food and beverages, construction, retail, hotels and leisure, banking and medical services.Zuma’s spokeperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement investment in infrastructure was an important focus of the visit. This was especially the case if the two countries are to work together on large scale projects such as cross-border infrastructure as well as industrial and energy developments.According to Davies, the continent is the new growth frontier.“It is a place that investors can no longer ignore,” he said, adding that there is a need for the continent to move into more value added and economically diversified activities.“We need to industrialise the continent and re-industrialise South Africa’s economy because this sector has taken a lot of strain,” he added. “We have to create business opportunities for industrial development.”This was reiterated by Pumla Ncapayi, the DTI’s deputy director general, who said there is a need to move away from mineral-based economies only, towards manufacturing-driven sectors.Speaking on behalf of the Black Business Council, spokesperson Sandile Zungu said the two countries are in a good position to work together as they share common challenges.“We need to beneficiate, increase manufacturing capacity and forge better collaboration as regional economies,” he said.Makgato-Malesu took the opportunity to speak on Botswana’s status as a rising investment hub.“We are looking for the type of investment that will help us accelerate industrialisation and result in economic diversification of the economy of Botswana,” she said.Building on existing relationshipsIn his address, Zuma referred to the strong historical, economic, social, political and neighbourly relations that the two countries share, saying these were strengthened during South Africa’s liberation struggle.“Enhancing close economic cooperation between Botswana and South Africa is a priority,” he said. “We believe that the time for Africa has come to utilise its resources for the benefit of itself.”Following on Zuma’s encouraging message to the business communities of the two countries to take advantage of new opportunities, Zungu said:“The argument for cooperation between the two countries is sound, and together the two can achieve so much more.”He added that the role of business on the continent can extend beyond financial investment only.“The business approach of only being profit driven is a bygone era,” he said.“Business people must take cognisance of the fact that there is high unemployment in the region and they must think how their businesses can meet this need, but at the same time achieve accelerated growth.”last_img read more

SMA Solar opens state-of-the-art factory in Cape Town

first_img11 December 2014A multimillion-rand manufacturing facility will be opened in Cape Town by SMA Solar Technology, a German manufacturer of solar inverters, on Friday, 12 December.The facility includes a production line and quality test centre for SMA’s Sunny Central inverters, warehousing, as well as the African branch of the SMA Solar Academy training centre.This is the third renewable energy manufacturing facility, supported by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to open in the country in the past four months.The factory would contribute to the drive to expand the capabilities of the South African manufacturing industry and to increase the country’s industrial base, the DTI said.Green economyThe green economy has been identified as a key focus area of the Industrial Policy Action Plan, and provides significant opportunities for job creation and economic growth.Minister Rob Davies said that Trade and Investment South Africa (Tisa), a division of his department, had facilitated investments to the value of R3-billion in the manufacturing of equipment and components for the renewable energy industry since the 2013/2014 financial year.“Investment in the green economy therefore contributed significantly to Tisa’s 2013/14 investment pipeline of R60-billion. The current pipeline for the 2014/15 financial year is at R27-billion, with a significant contribution from the green economy [at R10-billion],” he said.Supply chainSMA said it had made the decision to invest in South Africa’s manufacturing capacity in response to the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP), through which 1484 MW of solar photovoltaic projects have been procured.Thorsten Ronge, the managing director of SMA South Africa, said the group chose to set up its manufacturing base in Cape Town as it was close to the existing solar supply chain.The company has already supplied inverters to the recently completed 40MW Linde PV plant in Northern Cape province, as well as to the 75MW Kalkbult project, also in the Northern Cape.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Gogo empowers children to be the best

first_imgMponegele Le Iterele Orphan Centre in Limpopo has not only fed and educated the children of GaMagoa Village, but also helped many of them become professionals in various fields therefore lifting them out of poverty. (Image: Shamin Chibba)Throughout rural South Africa, orphaned and vulnerable children face the same sorts of challenges: they are not fed well enough, many live with their grandparents, and they live in communities where crime, alcoholism and drug abuse is rife.Yet there are people like Matjididi Mokono, who have devoted their lives to helping these children rise above their dire circumstances and leap above their expectations for themselves. Mokono, a former school principal, started Mponogele Le Iterele Orphan Centre in the village of GaMagoa, Limpopo, to feed and educate the local children.Brand South Africa and Eskom were at Mponegele for Mandela Month to refurbish the centre. New troughs were built, the walls were repainted and new plumbing was installed.Rodney Moloko, Brand South Africa’s stakeholder relations manager, said one did not need to have money or distribute it to make a difference. “It is the little that you do for others that can make this country a better place.”Rhulani Matshidze, the general manager of Eskom Limpopo, said that selflessness was the key to building a stronger South Africa. “We are not born to think of ourselves only. We have to be selfless.”Mponegele Le Iterele Orphan Centre before it was renovated for Mandela Day this year. Matjididi Mokono obtained the premises in 2005, and could start serving the children food within these walls instead of under a tree as she had been doing.  (Image: Mponegele Le Iterele Orphan Centre)IT STARTED UNDER A TREEMokono was motivated to help the children in her village after hearing about two brothers and a sister who were separated after their parents and grandparents died. “When I asked the sister, ‘My girl, where are your brothers?’ she said ‘Some people took them. I don’t even know.’ They were taken by relatives that the girl didn’t even know. It means they will grow up scattered.”She started Mponegele to “help the children and support their family members who feel overloaded too”. The first thing she did was gather the children under a tree, and give bread to them.Not long thereafter, she opened six orphanages, each of which was run by retired teachers. But since they did not put their hearts into it, Mokono did most of the work. In the end, she gave each retiree a centre. Three of the six centres are still running today.The orphans stayed with close relatives, said Mokono. They go to the centre after school where they are fed and taught how to read, write, garden and sew. More importantly, the centre has a computer room where children are taught to use computers. The computers were donated by various companies in the past, including Eskom. “I told them computer [literacy] is compulsory so we hone their computer skills.”An artist plays his part for Mandela Day as he paints a mural on Mponegele’s wall. (Image: Shamin Chibba)FUNDS ARE TIGHTThere is just one benefactor in Polokwane who donates bread, chicken and maize meal once a month. “There is food to feed but there should be people to prepare. People who prepare must get a stipend. But there is no money,” said Mokono.Though she said finding funds to keep the centre running was her biggest challenge, she did receive aid from Friends of Mponegele, a charity in the UK. Set up by Sylvia Weir, the organisation not only helps the orphan centre with financial donations, but it also provides funds for the children’s tertiary education.Some of the young men and women who went to Mponegele for support have gone on to become professionals in various industries. Thabiso Mashatola has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Wits University and is currently completing his Masters. “Myself and others from Mponegele have proven that this facility has and continues to play a huge role in assisting and changing the lives of many deserving children in our communities,” he said.Madjadji Mailula took a course in hospitality at Capricorn FET College and with the help of Mponegele, has completed her level four certificate. “Mponegele was like a biological parent to me. It ensured that I didn’t go to bed and to school with an empty stomach and it gave me a better education.”last_img read more

What’s Happening With GDPR And ePR? Where Does CookiePro Fit In?

first_imgWhat’s Happening With GDPR And ePR? Where Does CookiePro Fit In?You are here: The Freedoms laid out by the EU Charter of Human Rights. (Source: EU Charter of Human Rights) (Large preview)Although they’re separately defined, it’s best to think of ePR as an enhancement of GDPR. So, not only do businesses have to take care with data collected from individuals, the ePR says that they have to be careful with protecting the identity of individuals, too.As such, when the ePR rolls out, all digital communications between business and consumer will be protected. That includes:Skype chatsFacebook messagesVoiP callsEmail marketingPush notificationsAnd more.If a consumer has not expressly given permission for a business to contact them, the ePR will prohibit them from doing so. In fact, the ePR will take it a step further and give more control to consumers when it comes to cookies management.Rather than display a pop-up consent notice that asks “Is it okay if we use cookies to store your data?”, consumers will decide what happens through their browser settings.However, we’re not at that point yet, which means it’s your job to get that notice up on your website and to make sure you’re being responsible with how their data is collected, stored and used.What Web Developers Need To Do To Protect Visitor PrivacyDo a search for “How to Avoid Being Tracked Online”: A peek inside the CookiePro Cookie Consent Dashboard. (Source: Cookie Consent) (Large preview)Before you can create your cookie consent banner, though, you must add your website to the tool and run a scan on it. (You may have already completed that in the prior step).When the scan is complete, you can start creating your cookie banner: Data on what businesses believed to be the greatest costs of failing to comply with GDPR. (Source: McDermott Will & Emery and Ponemon Institute) (Large preview)Those that said they feared financial repercussions were right to do so. The GDPR assesses fines based on how severe the infringement is:Lower level offenses result in fines of up to €10 million or 2% of the the revenue made in the prior fiscal year.Upper level offenses result in fines of up to €20 million or 4%.Some high-profile cases of fines have already popped up in the news, too.Google received a €50 million penalty for committing a number of violations.Mainly, the issue taken with Google is that it buries its privacy policies and consent so deep that most consumers never find it. What’s more, a lot of their privacy policies are ambiguous or unclear, which leads users to “Accept” without really understanding what they’re accepting.Facebook is another company we shouldn’t be too surprised to see in GDPR’s crosshairs.Their penalty was only for £500,000. That’s because the fine was assessed for grievances issued between 2007 and 2014 — before GDPR went into place. It’ll be interesting to see if Facebook changes its privacy policies in light of the much larger sum of money they’ll owe when another inevitable breach occurs. It’s not just the monetary fine businesses should be nervous about when failing to comply with GDPR. “Stephen Eckersley of the UK Information Commissioner’s Office said that, after the GDPR went into effect, the amount of data breach reports increased exponentially.In June of 2018, there were 1,700 reports of companies in violation of GDPR. Now, the average is roughly 400 a month. Even so, Eckersley estimates that there will be double the amount of reports in 2019 than there were in previous years (36,000 vs. 18,000).So, not only are the governing bodies willing to penalize businesses for failure to comply. It seems that consumers are fed up enough (and empowered!) to report more of these violations now.Let’s Talk About ePR For A SecondThe ePrivacy Regulation has not yet become law, but it’s expected to soon enough. That’s because both GDPR and ePR were drafted to work together to update the old Data Protection Directive.ePR is an update to Article 7 in the EU Charter of Human Rights. GDPR is an update to Article 8. CookiePro offers a free website privacy scan. (Source: CookiePro) (Large preview)After you enter your URL and start the scan, you’ll be asked to provide just a few details about yourself and the company. The scan will start and you’ll receive a notice that says you’ll receive your free report within 24 hours.Just to give you an idea of what you might see, here are the report results I received: Related postsInclusive Components: Book Reviews And Accessibility Resources13th December 2019Should Your Portfolio Site Be A PWA?12th December 2019Building A CSS Layout: Live Stream With Rachel Andrew10th December 2019Struggling To Get A Handle On Traffic Surges10th December 2019How To Design Profitable Sales Funnels On Mobile6th December 2019How To Build A Real-Time Multiplayer Virtual Reality Game (Part 2)5th December 2019 Creating a cookie banner within the Cookie Consent tool. (Source: Cookie Consent) (Large preview)By publishing a cookie consent banner to your website, you’re taking the first big step to ensuring that visitors know that their data and identity is being protected.4. Make Your Cookie Consent Form Stand OutDon’t stop at simply adding a cookie banner to your website. As Vitaly Friedman explained:In our research, the vast majority of users willingly provide consent without reading the cookie notice at all. The reason is obvious and understandable: many customers expect that a website ‘probably wouldn’t work or the content wouldn’t be accessible otherwise.’ Of course, that’s not necessarily true, but users can’t know for sure unless they try it out. In reality, though, nobody wants to play ping-pong with the cookie consent prompt and so they click the consent away by choosing the most obvious option: ‘OK.’While ePR will eventually rid of us of this issue, you can do something about it now — and that’s to design your cookie consent form to stand out.A word of caution: be careful with using pop-ups on a mobile website. Although consent forms are one of the exceptions to Google’s penalty against entry pop-ups, you still don’t want to compromise the visitor experience all for the sake of being GDPR compliant.As such, you might be better off using a cookie banner at the top or bottom of the site and then designing it really stand out.What’s nice about CookiePro is that you can customize everything, so it really is yours to do with as you like. For example, here is one I designed: Search for “How to Avoid Being Tracked Online” on Google. (Source: Google) (Large preview)There are over 57 million pages that appear in Google’s search results. Do similar keyword searches and you’ll also find endless pages and forum submissions where consumers express serious concerns over the information gathered about them online, wanting to know how to “stop cookies”.Clearly, this is a matter that keeps consumers up at night.The GDPR should be your motivation to go above and beyond in putting their minds at ease.While you probably won’t have a hand in the actual data management or usage of data within the business, you can at least help your clients get their websites in order. And, if you already did this when GDPR initially was enacted, now would be a good time to revisit what you did and make sure their websites are still in compliance.Just make sure that your client is safely handling visitor data and protecting their privacy before providing any sort of privacy consent statement. Those statements and their acceptance of them are worthless if the business isn’t actually fulfilling its promise.Once that part of the compliance piece is in place, here’s what you need to do about cookies:1. Understand How Cookies WorkWebsites allow businesses to gather lots of data from visitors. Contact forms collect info on leads. eCommerce gateways accept methods of payment. And then there are cookies:Cookies are pieces of data, normally stored in text files, that websites place on visitors’ computers to store a range of information, usually specific to that visitor — or rather the device they are using to view the site — like the browser or mobile phone.There are some that collect bare-bones details that are necessary to provide visitors with the best experience. Like preserving a logged-in session as visitors move from page to page. Or not displaying a pop-up after a visitor dismissed it on a recent visit.There are other cookies, usually from third-party tracking services, that pry deeper. These are the ones that track and later target visitors for the purposes of marketing and advertising.Regardless of where the cookies come from or what purpose they serve, the fact of the matter is, consumers are being tracked. And, until recently, websites didn’t have to inform them when that took place or how much of their data was stored.2. Don’t Use Cookies That Are IrrelevantThere’s no getting around the usage of cookies. Without them, you wouldn’t have access to analytics that tell you who’s visiting your website, where they come from and what they’re doing while they’re there. You also wouldn’t be able to serve up personalized content or notifications to keep their experience with the site feeling fresh.That said, do you even know what kinds of cookies your website uses right now?Before you go implementing your own cookie consent notice for visitors, make sure you understand what exactly it is you’re collecting from them.Go to the CookiePro website and run a free scan on your client’s site: CookiePro’s cookies report tells you what purpose they serve and where they come from. (Source: Cookie Consent) (Large preview)Note: if you sign up for an account with CookiePro, you can run your own cookie audit from within the tool (which is part of the next step).3. Provide Transparency About Cookie UsageGDPR isn’t trying to discourage businesses from using cookies on their websites or other marketing channels. What it’s doing, instead, is encouraging them to be transparent about what’s happening with data and then be responsible with it once they have it.So, once you know what sort of cookies you’re using and data you’re handling, it’s time to inform your visitors about this cookie usage.Keep in mind that this shouldn’t just be served to EU-based visitors. While those are the only ones protected under the regulation, what could it hurt to let everyone know that their data and identity are protected when they’re on your website? The rest of the world will (hopefully) follow, so why not be proactive and get consent from everyone now?To provide transparency, a simple entry notice is all you need to display to visitors.For example, here is one from Debenhams:center_img HomeWeb DesignWhat’s Happening With GDPR And ePR? Where Does CookiePro Fit In? This is an example of a cookies notice found on the Debenhams website. (Source: Debenhams) (Large preview)As you can see, it’s not as simple as asking visitors to “Accept” or “Reject” cookies. They’re also given the option to manage them.To add your own cookies entry banner and advanced options, use CookiePro’s Cookie Consent tool.Signup is easy — if you start with the free plan, it takes just a few seconds to sign up. Within an hour, you’ll receive your login credentials to get started. What’s Happening With GDPR And ePR? Where Does CookiePro Fit In? What’s Happening With GDPR And ePR? Where Does CookiePro Fit In? Suzanne Scacca 2019-05-23T10:00:59+02:00 2019-05-23T12:35:17+00:00(This is a sponsored article.) Is privacy an issue on the web? According to this ConsumerMan piece from NBC News a few years back, it is:The Internet has become a serious threat to our privacy.— Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital DemocracyYour online profile is being sold on the web. It’s kind of crazy and it’s not harmless.— Sharon Goott Nissim of the Electronic Privacy Information CenterThere are no limits to what types of information can be collected, how long it can be retained, with whom it can be shared or how it can be used.— Susan Grant of the Consumer Federation of AmericaWhile there’s been talk of introducing a “Do Not Track” program into U.S. legislation, the EU is the first one to actually take steps to make the Internet a safer place for consumers.On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enacted. Soon to follow will be the ePrivacy Regulation (ePR).With these initiatives holding businesses accountable for the information they track and use online, web developers have to add another thing to their list of requirements when building a website:The protection of user privacy.In this post, we’re going to look at:Where we currently stand with GDPR,What changes we’ve seen on the web as a result,What’s coming down the line with ePR,And take a look CookiePro Cookie Consent tool that helps web developers make their websites compliant now.GDPR: Where Are We Now?With the one-year anniversary of GDPR upon us, now is a great time to talk about what the updated legislation has done for online privacy.GDPR RecapIt’s not like the EU didn’t have privacy directives in place before. As Heather Burns explained in a Smashing Magazine article last year:All of the existing principles from the original Directive stay with us under GDPR. What GDPR adds is new definitions and requirements to reflect changes in technology which simply did not exist in the dialup era. It also tightens up requirements for transparency, disclosure and, process: lessons learned from 23 years of experience.One other key change that comes with moving from the previous privacy directive to this privacy regulation is that it’s now consistently implemented across all EU states. This makes it easier for businesses to implement digital privacy policies and for governing bodies to enforce them since there’s no longer any question of what one country has done with the implementation of the law. It’s the same for all.What’s more, there are clearer guidelines for web developers that are responsible for implementing a privacy solution and notice on their clients’ websites.Has GDPR Led to Any Changes in How Websites Handle Data?It seems as though many companies are struggling to get compliant with GDPR, based on a test done by Talend in the summer of 2018. They sent data requests to over a hundred companies to see which ones would provide the requested information, per the new GDPR guidelines.Here is what they found:Only 35% of EU-based companies complied with the requests while 50% outside of the EU did.Only 24% of retail companies responded (which is alarming considering the kind of data they collect from consumers).Finance companies seemed to be the most compliant; still, only 50% responded.65% of companies took over 10 days to respond, with the average response time being 21 days.What Talend suggests, then, is that digital services (e.g. SaaS, mobile apps, e-commerce) are more likely to fall in line with GDPR compliance. It’s the other companies — those that didn’t start as digital companies or who have older legacy systems — that are struggling to get onboard.Regardless of what actions have been taken by businesses, they know they must do it.A 2018 report published by McDermott Will & Emery and Ponemon Institute showed that, despite businesses’ inability to be compliant, they were scared of what would happen if they were found not to be: CookiePro runs a scan on all data collection elements and trackers. (Source: Cookie Consent) (Large preview)As you can see, CookiePro does more than just tell me how many or which cookies my website has. It also includes forms that are gathering data from visitors as well as tags.Be sure to review your report carefully. If you’re tracking data that’s completely unnecessary and unjustified for a website of this nature to get ahold of, that needs to change ASAP. Why put your clients’ business at risk and compromise visitor trust if you’re gathering data that has no reason to be in their hands? CookiePro lets you educate visitors about cookies used on the site. (Source: Cookie Consent) (Large preview)Just make sure you explain the importance of the most basic of cookies (“strictly necessary” and “performance) and why you recommend they leave them on. The rest you can provide explanations for in the hopes that their response will be, “Okay, yeah, I’d definitely like a personalized experience on this site.” If not, the choice is theirs to toggle off/on which kinds of cookies they want to be shown. And the Cookie Consent tool can help.In other words, a cookie consent bar is not some superficial attempt to get consent. You’re trying to help them understand what cookies do and give them the power to influence their on-site experience.Wrapping UpThere’s a lot we have to be thankful for with the Internet. It closes geographic gaps. It presents new opportunities for doing business. It enables consumers to buy pretty much anything they want with just a few clicks.But as the Internet matures, the ways in which we build and use websites become more complex. And not just complex, but risky too.GDPR and ePR have been a long time coming. As websites gather more data on consumers that can then be used by third parties or to follow them to other websites, web developers need to take a more active role in abiding by the new regulations while also putting visitors’ minds at ease. Starting with a cookie consent banner. (ms, yk, il)From our sponsors: What’s Happening With GDPR And ePR? Where Does CookiePro Fit In? Posted on 23rd May 2019Web Design FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share A preview of a cookie consent banner built with Cookie Consent. (Source: Cookie Consent) (Large preview)You can change:Text colorButton colorBackground color.You can write your own copy for each element:HeaderMessageCookie policy noteCookie policy settingsAccept button.And you get to decide how the banner will function if or when visitors engage with it.5. Educate Visitors on CookiesIn addition to giving your cookie consent banner a unique look, use it as a tool to educate visitors on what cookies are and why you’re even using them. That’s what the Cookie Settings area is for.With Cookie Consent, you can inform visitors about the different types of cookies that are used on the website. They then have the choice to toggle different ones on or off based on their comfort level.That’s what’s so nice about CookiePro taking care of the cookie scan for you. That way, you know what kinds of cookies you actually have in place. All you have to do, then, is go to your Cookie List and choose which descriptions you want to display to visitors:last_img read more