On August 22, 2023, Women's Affairs Ministers from the Commonwealth huddled in a room at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, they were meeting in person.
Melting mountain glaciers. Unbearable heat. An uninsurable future. Space debris. Groundwater depletion. Accelerating extinctions. The United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security said this week that these six environmental "tipping points" can have "irreversible, catastrophic impacts for people and the planet."
David Obura always knew that his life’s work would involve the natural world. As a child with a love of nature, he always knew he would become an ecologist. Growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, he recalls fondly that his mother would take the family camping at national parks. With these excursions came opportunities for hiking, mountain climbing, and exploration. The family events also took him to one of the earth’s greatest wonders - the sea.
The World Meteorological Organization says adaptation efforts and the switch to renewable energy must increase for regions like Latin America and the Caribbean to face the challenges of a changing climate.
Almost half of the world’s population lives in coastal zones. For islands in the Pacific and Caribbean islands such as Dominica, where up to 90 percent of the population lives on the coast, the ocean is fundamental to lives and livelihoods. From fisheries to tourism and shipping, this essential body which covers over 70 percent of the planet, is a lifeline.
In 2015, just over 30 cocoa farmers from Padre Abad in Ucayali, a province in the lush and ecologically diverse Peruvian Amazon, formed an alliance to tackle long-standing concerns such as soil quality, access to markets, fair prices for their produce and a growing number of illegal plantations. The result was the Colpa de Loros Cooperative, and from the start, the goal was to produce the finest quality, export-ready cocoa.
For countries across the globe, September 16th
is a day to reflect on progress in protecting the ozone layer. The United Nations designated day for the preservation of the ozone layer is marked by speeches, and educational and social media campaigns.
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.