Analysis

A “Rosetta Stone” for Conducting Biodiversity Assessments

This month saw an important milestone reached by the U.N.’s young Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES): Publication of its first public product.

Prosecutor’s Death a Test for Argentine Democracy

The death of a special prosecutor investigating one of the biggest unresolved mysteries in the history of Argentina, the bombing of a Jewish community centre over 20 years ago, has put to the test an immature democracy that is caught up in a web of conspiracy theories and promiscuity between the secret services and those in power.

Pacific Islands Call for New Thinking to Implement Post-2015 Development Goals

As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of poverty-alleviation targets set by the United Nations, come to a close this year, countries around the world are taking stock of their successes and failures in tackling key developmental issues.

Humanity’s Future: Below Replacement Fertility?

Is below replacement level fertility the future for humanity? The answer to this seemingly simple question regarding human reproduction is not only of considerable demographic concern, but also has enormous social, economic and environmental consequences for the planet.

Cuba and United States Now Foment Moderation in the Americas

With the decision to reestablish diplomatic ties, Cuba and the United States, polar opposites that have long inspired or fomented extremism of different kinds in the Americas, have now become factors of moderation and pragmatism.

What the U.S. Should Learn from Russia’s Collapse

After months of whispered warnings, Russia’s economic troubles made global headlines when its currency collapsed halfway through December. Amid the tumbling price of oil, the ruble has fallen to record lows, bringing the country to its most serious economic crisis since the late 1990s.

GDP and the Unaccounted for 82 Percent of National Wealth

Virtually all countries use Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as their primary measurement of economic progress and overall societal progress. At the same time, countries express allegiance to the doctrine of sustainable development. This exposes an obvious disconnect.

REDD and the Green Economy Continue to Undermine Rights

Dercy Teles de Carvalho Cunha is a rubber-tapper and union organiser from the state of Acre in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, with a lifelong love of the forest from which she earns her livelihood – and she is deeply confounded by what her government and policymakers around the world call “the green economy.”

Chilean Activists Change the Rules of the Game

In 2011, students in Chile made headlines when they launched a nationwide strike lasting almost eight months.

Model Contract to Help Protect Developing Countries From ‘Land Grabs’

When the Korean company Daewoo attempted to acquire half the arable land of Madagascar for free, it unleashed a tsunami of investor interest in agricultural land, popularised as the 'land grab'.

Indonesia’s New President Promises to Put Peat Before Palm Oil

Last week, Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, ordered the country’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry to review the licenses of all companies that have converted peatlands to oil palm plantations.

Iraqi Kurds Seek Greater Balance between Ankara and Baghdad

After a period of frostiness, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Turkey seem intent on mending ties, as each of the parties show signs of needing the other.

Illegal Logging Wreaking Havoc on Impoverished Rural Communities

Rampant unsustainable logging in the southwest Pacific Island states of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, where the majority of land is covered in tropical rainforest, is worsening hardship, human insecurity and conflict in rural communities.

Elections Offer Little Solace to Sri Lanka’s Poor

Priyantha Wakvitta is used to seeing his adopted city, Colombo, transform into a landscape of bright sparkling lights and window dressing towards the end of the year.

Rich Countries Pony Up (Some) for Climate Justice

It’s one of the oldest tricks in politics: Talk down expectations to the point that you can meet them.

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