Almost inadvertently, humankind is getting closer everyday to the point of no-return towards what could be called the ‘climate doomsday’.Now, globally averaged concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has surged again to new records in 2016… and will not dip below pre-2015 levels for many generations.
Now that world attention is focused on the fast growing process of urbanisation, with 2 in 3 people estimated to be living in towns and cities by the year 2030, an old “equation” jumps rapidly to mind: each time a small farmer migrates to an urban area, equals to one food producer less, and one food consumer more.
What would be your reaction if you were told that food prices are steadily declining worldwide? Good, very good news, you may say. But do the 600 million small, family farmers, those who produce up to 80 per cent of food in some regions, think the same way? Definitely not at all.
When the United Nations elaborated its latest report on the impact of what it calls “the dramatic shift towards urban life,” it tried to draw a balanced portrait of both the opportunities and the challenges of the fact that 1 in 2 world inhabitant already lives in urban areas and what this implies.
The warning is sharp and the facts, alarming: 92 per cent of the world’s population live in places where levels exceed recommended limits. And 6.5 million people die annually from air pollution.
Lentils, beans, chick peas, and other pulses often produce negative “collateral social effects" on people hanging around, just a couple of hours after eating them. But, believe it or not, they contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. How come?
“Every evening, millions of people all over the world will settle into their armchairs to watch some TV after a hard day at work. Many will have a snack or something to drink…
Humankind is a witness every single day to a new, unprecedented challenge. One of them is the very fact that the world's arable lands are being lost at 30 to 35 times the historical rate. Each year, 12 million hectares are lost. That means 33,000 hectares a day!
Children are being smuggled, sexually abused, maimed, killed for their vital organs, recruited as soldiers or otherwise enslaved. Not only: 69 million children under five will die from mostly preventable causes, 167 million will live in poverty, and 263 million are out of school. And 750 million women will have been married as children by 2030.
"No one can deny the terrible similarities between those running from the threat of guns and those fleeing creeping desertification, water shortages, floods and hurricanes.”
Two-thirds of the African continent is already desert or dry-lands. But while this vast extension of the second largest continent on Earth after Asia is “vital” for agriculture and food production, nearly three-fourths of it is estimated to be degraded to varying degrees.
Can African farmers feed the world?. Apparently the answer is “yes.” Bold as it may sound, this statement is based on specific facts: Africa is home to 60-65 per cent of the world’s uncultivated arable land and 10 per cent of renewable freshwater resources, and it has registered a 160 per cent increase in agricultural output over the past 30 years.
Climate change and related extreme weather events have devastated the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of most vulnerable people worldwide-- by far exceeding the total of all the unfortunate and unjustifiable victims of all terrorist attacks combined. However, the unstoppable climate crisis receives just a tiny fraction of mainstream media attention. See these dramatic facts.
With some 400 million people around the world infected with hepatitis B or C, mostly without being aware, the United Nations top health agency encourages countries to boost testing and access to services and medicines for people in need to combat the 'ignored perils' of this disease.
No longer it is about restoring the legitimate rights of over 370 indigenous peoples spread across 70 countries worldwide, many of them living in dire situation, but now about their central, critical role in combating climate change.