Stories written by an IPS Correspondent

Turtles Change Migration Routes Due to Climate Change

The critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle has few sanctuaries left in the world, and this is one of them. But in 2012 only 53 nests were counted on the beaches of this national park in Costa Rica. And there is an enemy that conservation efforts can’t fight: the beaches themselves are shrinking.

IPS appoints Ramesh Jaura as new Director General

The Board of IPS meeting on April 1 unanimously elected Ramesh Jaura as the new Director General of IPS (Inter Press Service) news agency.

Nuclear Experts to Discuss Current State of Play

Against the backdrop of a political confrontation between two major nuclear powers over Ukraine, the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (LCNP) will be hosting a Forum titled “Law’s Imperatiove: A World Free of Nuclear Weapons.”

Professor Briscoe Stockholm Water Prize Laureate

Professor John Briscoe has been named the 2014 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his “unparalleled contributions to global and local water management, inspired by an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of people on the ground,” according to the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) . In its citation, the Stockholm Water Prize Committee states that Professor Briscoe ”has combined world-class research with policy implementation and practice to improve the development and management of water resources as well as access to safe drinking water and sanitation.” Professor Briscoe currently lives and works in the United States, where he is a popular teacher at Harvard University. Upon receiving the news, he said he was “Very surprised and honoiured. I am delighted for the recognition this gives to thinking practitioners, of which I consider myself one," according to a SIWI press release. SIWI said today’s world is beset by daunting water challenges – human water security and biodiversity are at risk, global demand for water is soaring, and droughts and floods cause deadly disasters. These challenges cannot be met on one front alone. Professor Briscoe’s genius lies in his fusion of science, policy and practice, giving him unrivalled insights into how water should be managed to improve the lives of people worldwide. “At the end of the day, it is what happens on the ground that matters. All policies must be judged by whether they make a difference on the ground. I believe that the years I spent working at the micro level is what enables me to be an effective policy maker,” says Briscoe. In the mid 1970s Briscoe lived in a small village in the interior of Bangladesh, and learned first-hand how infrastructure for protection from floods and droughts could transform the lives of the poor. Later in the 1970s Briscoe worked as an engineer in the government of newly independent Mozambique, learning that you were a credible policy maker only if you could help resolve basic problems of building and running infrastructure. At the other end of Professor Briscoe’s spectrum of accomplishments , SIWI said, is the 2003 Water Strategy for the World Bank. This strategy provided a new, creative and enduring benchmark for global understanding of the need for both better infrastructure and improved institutions. The strategy has had implications far beyond the water sector, helping to ensure that developing and emerging countries get a stronger voice in global governance. Professor Briscoe brought his experience of high-level policy with him to Brazil as the World Bank Country Director in 2005. Brazil was one of the biggest of the World Bank’s borrowers, and John Briscoe was praised for bridging the divide between sound environmental management and economic development objectives in the Amazon and other parts of this rapidly developing nation. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize, will present the prize to Professor Briscoe at a Royal Award Ceremony during 2014 World Water Week in Stockholm on September 4.

The Scramble for Kenya’s Kibera Slum

Controversy continues to brew here over ownership of the land under Kibera slum, one of Africa’s largest.

Mexican Communities On Guard Against Thirst for Oil

The Terra 123 oil and gas well in the southeastern Mexican state of Tabasco was in flames since late October, just 1.5 km from a community of 1,500 Oxiacaque indigenous villagers, who were never evacuated.

Farm Forecasts Try to Decode a Capricious Climate

In the southwest peninsula of Cedros, one of Trinidad’s driest areas, Jenson Alexander grows the cocoa used for many years by the British chocolate giant Cadbury.

Changing Patterns of Global Migration & Remittances

A growing number of international migrants now live in high-income countries such as the United States and Germany, while a growing share was born in today’s middle-income nations such as India and Mexico, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the United Nations and the World Bank.

71 Journalists Killed in 2013

The Paris based Reporters Without Borders said the annual toll of journalists killed in connection with their work was again very high in 2013, although this year’s number, 71, was a slight fall (-20%) on last year’s.

As Malaysia rises to ‘high-income status’, it must focus on the most vulnerable, says UN expert

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, complimented Malaysia for its efforts to becoming a high-income country. But Malaysia should also “ ensure that growth is not achieved at the expense of the environment and the rights of vulnerable groups in society, such as the indigenous communities and migrant workers,” he cautioned.

“Migrants are human beings with human rights”

UN experts have urged member states to ratify all  international and regional human rights treaties, including the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, and to implement them fully.

In Minimum Wage Debate, A Battle Over Inequality and Job Loss

In the midst of a nationwide movement for policymakers to raise minimum wages for millions of workers in the United States, experts here continue to debate the advantages and drawbacks of raising the federal rate.

Throwing the Tanzania-Zambia Railway a Lifeline

Some say it’s the journey, not the destination that matters. Hop aboard the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) line at Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam port and begin the 1,860-kilometre journey to Kapiri Mposhi, a small town in Zambia’s Central Province, and you may find yourself pondering this adage.

Climate Change & Agriculture in East Africa

A new book, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and released by three research organizations, says population growth in East Africa is among the highest in the world and could worsen food insecurity, which is already severe.

Egypt’s religious minorities bear the brunt of renewed insecurity

In a new report released Tuesday, the London-based Minority Rights Group International (MRG) says Egypt’s January 25 Revolution was driven by a demand for greater liberty. But with the increase in insecurity and sectarian violence, the country’s religious minorities are bearing the brunt.

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