Stories written by Alison Kentish

Renewed, More Ambitious Targets of Paris Agreement Needed

Projected reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are falling "far short" of what is required to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement.

That is according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which released its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) Scorecard today, Feb 26.


Leveraging AI to Fight Climate Change

International organisations, researchers and data scientists say artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are critical to combat years of promises but inadequate action on the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises.

Give us Access to Tigray to Find Missing Refugees — NRC Pleas

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has called for unimpeded access to all parts of Ethiopia’s Tigray Region, to locate an estimated 20,000 unaccounted for refugees and assess damage to its Hitsaats Camp which was looted and set alight in early January.

UN Calls for an ‘Ocean Science Revolution’

The United Nations Secretary-General has urged nations to rise to the ‘defining challenge’ of restoring the ocean’s power to support humanity and regulate the climate. António Guterres addressed the “Brave New Ocean” high level event on Feb. 3. The virtual gathering of world leaders, scientists, philanthropists and ocean advocates marked the start of the UN Decade on Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Despite Petitions & Mounting Pressure, Namibian Government Proceeds with Sale of 3% of Country’s Last Elephants

Over 100,000 concerned petitioners have urged the Namibian government to scrap its plan to auction off 170 wild elephants -- which include rare desert-adapted elephants -- but the country’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism said this week that today’s Jan. 29 sale will go on as planned.

What World’s Largest Climate Change Public Opinion Poll Says

Between October and December 2020, something was different for people playing popular video games like Words with Friends, Angry Birds and Subway Surfers. Instead of a traditional 30-second ad, gamers across the world were invited to participate in a climate change survey. It was an unconventional way of polling that gave University of Oxford researchers an opportunity to tap into the 2.7 billion user-strong gaming market and produce the world’s largest climate change public opinion poll.

Personal Testimonies, Pledges Mark the Start of the ‘Fair Share to End Child Labour’ Campaign

Selimatha Salifu of Ghana is a former child labourer who has vowed to do her part to bring attention to the plight of the world’s over 150 million child labourers. Raised in a fishing community, she recalls her days buying fish to sell, working from daybreak till nightfall to contribute to her family. She credits the General Agriculture Workers Union for rescuing her and ensuring she enrolled in school.

Measuring the Impact of COVID-19 on the World’s Forests

The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected every sector of society and a global assessment by the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) confirms that its shocks have extended to forests on every region on earth.


Q&A: China Accused of Intimidating, Detaining Citizens Critical of COVID-19 Linked Abuses

China must end its campaign against individuals seeking redress for COVID-19 linked abuses and the human rights lawyers and activists who help them, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said as reports ranging from allegedly trapping them inside their homes, to chaining alleged lock-down violators to metal posts emerge.

Facing their Failure to meet 2020 Biodiversity Targets, World Leaders Pledge Action & Funds

French President Emmanuel Macron convened the 4th edition of the One Planet Summit for Biodiversity with a concession – that after a decade, the world has failed to take the action needed to stem global biodiversity loss. The Jan. 10 event, hosted virtually by France, the United Nations and the World Bank, focused on four areas for urgent action; protecting land and maritime species, promoting agroecology, mobilising finance for biodiversity and protecting tropical forests, species and human health.

Indigenous Leaders want Traditional Knowledge to be Centrepiece of New Global Biodiversity Framework

The picturesque Mahuat River in Dominica is one of 8 communities that make up the Kalinago Territory – a 3,700-acre area on the Caribbean island’s east coast that is home to the Kalinago people, the largest indigenous group in the Eastern Caribbean. It is where 19-year-old Whitney Melinard calls home. Melinard is among a rising group of Dominica’s Kalinago youth, using their voices and platforms to speak out on issues affecting their people.

Drop in Remittances – a Financial Lifeline for 800 Million People – Could Impact Financial Stability of Numerous Countries

On Dec. 2 Gabriel Arias, 42, left a Washington Heights, New York, money transfer agency after sending money home to the Dominican Republic. For the past eight years, every fortnight he would come to this branch at 171st street after getting paid from his construction job. But things are different this year and he worries about his family back home. Arias lost his job in May, amid heightened COVID-19 restrictions in the state. He told IPS he has tried to work some odd jobs, but has barely earned enough for his monthly apartment rental. This early December visit to send money home was only his second since June.

Youth Demand a ‘Fair Share’ from World Leaders Ahead of G20 Summit

Heads of youth movements and student unions are challenging the world’s richest nations to correct an ‘incredibly unequal’ global response to COVID-19, by considering the plight of the world’s most vulnerable children and young people.

WFP – ‘Focus on Starvation, Destabilisation and Migration to Avert a COVID-19 Global Food Crisis’

Food security has become a priority in the Caribbean as COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions have hit the tourism-dependent region hard.

Q & A: Escalating Tensions in Ethiopia adds to Tenuous Refugee Setting

Already reeling from conflict, extreme weather events and growing displacement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, escalating tensions in Ethiopia’s Tigray region have placed the country on the brink of civil war and many are looking to Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to avert a potential humanitarian disaster.

Why We Need Trees to End to Poverty – Landmark Report

With extreme poverty (living on $1.90 a day) projected to rise for the first time in over 20 years, a new study has concluded that global poverty eradication efforts could be futile in the absence of forests and trees.

Q&A: Building Resilience through Waste Diversion and Reduction

Jua Kali is a social enterprise tackling waste management and helping to reduce reliance on St. Lucia’s only landfill, which will reach the end of its lifespan in 2023. The company, with its slogan ‘Trashing the Idea of Waste,’ hosts waste collection drives through pop up depots that encourage residents to bring in glass, plastic and tin cans in exchange for supermarket shopping points.

Q&A: Caribbean Losing Momentum on Climate Change and Concerted Action is Needed

In 2015, the Caribbean was “the region that could” on the climate change scene. Countries rallied under the ‘1.5 to Stay Alive’ banner, in the face of an existential threat. The now former Sustainable Development Minister of Saint Lucia Dr. James Fletcher emerged as a climate change champion at the time. But now, three years on, the scientist is giving regional climate action a C- in an assessment.

Q&A: Inventor from a Small Fishing Village in Saint Lucia Provides Hope for Water Woes

Karlis Noel spends his days in his lab in the small, picturesque community of Laborie in St. Lucia. The former fisherman’s story might sound like an overnight success, but his present accolades in the field of engineering are the result of years of hard work and an unceasing drive to make life easier for communities in the throes of a water crisis.