Stories written by Claudia Ciobanu
Claudia Ciobanu covers Central and Eastern Europe for IPS. Romanian, she is currently based in Warsaw, Poland. She is particularly interested in environmental issues and social activism in post-socialist countries.
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Ameer Alkhawlany moved to Poland in September 2014 to pursue a Master's in biology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland's second largest city. Two years later, the Polish state awarded him a scholarship to complete a PhD in the same faculty.
“People have gathered here to tell their politicians that the way in which we used energy and our environment in the 19th and 20th centuries is now over,” says Radek Gawlik, one of Poland’s most experienced environmental activists. “The time for burning coal has passed and the sooner we understand this, the better it is for us.”
Polish farmer Slawek Dobrodziej has probably the world’s strangest triathlon training regime: he swims across the lake at the back of his house, then runs across his some 11 hectares of land to check the state of the crops, and at the end of the day bikes close to 40 kilometres to and back from a nearby town for some shopping.
Since November last year, Bulgaria has virtually closed its borders to an inflow of Syrian asylum seekers and other migrants trying to enter the country from Turkey, while EU institutions concerned appear to have acquiesced to this.
Authorities in Romania have been attempting to bulldoze through public opposition to push through controversial extractive projects such as gold mining at Rosia Montana and shale gas drilling at Pungesti.
The G77+China group of 133 developing countries negotiating a new international deal at COP19 in Warsaw to combat climate change walked out of the talks in the wee hours of Wednesday morning to protest developed countries’ reluctance to commit to loss and damage.
An International Coal and Climate summit organised by the Polish Ministry of Economy and the World Coal Association kicked off Monday in the Polish capital Warsaw in parallel to the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP19, amid outcry from environmentalists who accused COP host Poland of bias in favor of the coal industry.
The U.S. delegation negotiating at the U.N. international climate change conference in Poland is pushing an agenda of minimising the role of “Loss and Damage” in the UNFCCC framework, prioritising private finance in the Green Climate Fund, and delaying the deadline for post-2020 emission reduction commitments, according to a State Department negotiating strategy which IPS has seen.
These are busy days in the Polish capital Warsaw, even if it doesn’t show. The United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 19 has opened at the National Stadium, while on the other side of the river Wisla the Polish far right gathered for their annual march on Independence Day on Monday.
Street protests are snowballing in Romania against a Canadian-led gold mining project in the Rosia Montana area in the Apuseni Mountains. More than 20,000 people joined a protest march in Bucharest on Sunday, and thousands in other Romanian cities took to the streets.
Since Jun. 3, inhabitants of the village Zurawlow in Grabowiec district in southeastern Poland have been occupying a field in their locality where the U.S. company Chevron plans to drill for shale gas. The farmers’ resistance is just the latest blow to shale gas proponents in the country.
Under the leadership of Brazilian Director General (DG) José Graziano da Silva, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has been engaged in a process of deep reform meant to make the organisation leaner and more effective in the fight against hunger.
In addition to the world’s 870 million hungry, many others are suffering from inadequate nutrition that does not allow them to live full lives, or find their fates highly vulnerable to price shifts on global food markets.