In June 2022, swathes of matted, putrid seaweed took over the shores of beaches across the Caribbean. It was the worst seaweed influx reported since 2011, when ocean currents began depositing tons of the brown seaweed, known as Sargassum, across the region, leaving authorities grappling with the severe ecological and economic fallout.
The highest deforestation rates since 2009. The third most active hurricane season on record. Extreme rainfall, floods, and landslides displaced tens of thousands of people. Rising sea levels. Glaciers in Peru lost more than half their size. Add the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to the mix, and 2021 was a challenging year for Latin America and the Caribbean.
In the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, the changing climate often eclipses the loss of ecosystems and species in funding and awareness.
When Dominica signed on to the United Nations Multicountry Sustainable Development Framework for the English and Dutch Speaking Caribbean (MSDCF) in March, the country joined others like Saint Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Aruba as part of a 5-year framework to plan and implement UN development initiatives.
With 50% of humanity affected by land degradation, the world must move to a ‘crisis footing’ to conserve, restore and use land resources sustainably, a major UN report has said.
A member-led global coalition of 202 countries and institutions, the NDC Partnership has turned the spotlight on climate action by supporting countries’ efforts to craft and implement Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which outline their commitments to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
After leading a landmark, first-ever all-women mission to Afghanistan last week, Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait, the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, says that schools must reopen for all children and that girls, in particular, must be able to return to secondary school classrooms.
A few days before the international community gathers for COP26, widely considered the most important climate conference since the 2015 gathering which resulted in the Paris Climate Agreement, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is reporting that despite global hits in trade and travel by the COVID-19 pandemic, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new high in 2020.
In war-torn Syria, the support of Education Cannot Wait (ECW) – the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises – is bringing positive, life-changing educational opportunities tailored to children like 11-year-old Ali.
The Rastafarian organizations in the Caribbean are determined that the issue of slavery reparations will emerge from the eclipse of COVID-19.
As the world deals with the impacts of efforts to contain the virus’ spread and regional governments tackle vaccine hesitancy and a wave of misinformation, issues not directly related to COVID-19 have had to be temporarily shelved.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of education globally, but for children in emergencies and protracted crises, its blow has been particularly devastating.
On September 10th
, on a sweltering summer afternoon, three fishers drove a van around the residential community of Castle Comfort in Dominica, blowing forcefully into their conch shells – the traditional call that there is fresh fish for sale in the area.
On September 20, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina accepted an award from the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network for her country’s ‘striking’ progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
When the NDC Partnership, the alliance which helps governments to determine and achieve their climate goals, held its first-ever Global Youth Engagement Forum in July, several segments were underpinned by Jamaica’s model of engaging young people and sustaining youth interest in climate initiatives.
Dubbed ‘the People’s Summit, the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) hopes to put the world back on a path to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, through food systems overhauling. From the tempered to the extremely optimistic, experts in various food system sectors share their expectations of transformation.
In the backdrop of rising hunger, half of the world’s population living on unhealthy diets, a third of agricultural produce lost to postharvest events, and waste, poverty in farming communities, a pandemic that laid bare the vulnerability of food systems to external shocks and unsustainable food production, the Barilla Foundation for Food and Nutrition has published a report which introduces guidelines for the private sector to fulfil its role in transforming global food systems.
This November, five years after signing the Paris Agreement and pledging to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a further target of below 1.5 degrees Celsius, world leaders will meet in Glasgow, UK amid COVID-19 pandemic shocks, rising hunger and an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that warns of more extreme temperature, droughts, forest fires and ice sheet loss due to human activity.
The world faces multiple crises: climate change, extreme weather events, food security and biodiversity. For African nations, these issues are compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic outbreaks that include Rift Valley Fever and Malaria. With 35 African Union Member States as signatories to its establishment Treaty, the African Risk Capacity (ARC) Group – comprising of ARC Agency and ARC Limited - works with Governments to help improve their capacities to better plan, prepare, and respond to extreme weather disasters and natural disasters.
Around 2 pm on August 18, 89-year-old farmer Whitnel Louis and his wife Ayma began packing up their unsold produce, hoping to leave the capital of Roseau and get home way ahead of the 6 pm curfew recently put in place to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
As the international community prepares for the landmark United Nations Food Systems Summit, a pivotal gathering as part of a global goal to tackle food insecurity, hunger, biodiversity loss, and climate change through sustainable food production, Caribbean youth say the successful transformation of food systems must include young innovators.
In 2020, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia faced their worst drought in half a century. The Atlantic Basin saw 30 named storms – the most recorded in a single year. Two category 4 hurricanes achieved an unprecedented feat by making landfall in Nicaragua.