Stories written by Manipadma Jena
Manipadma Jena is an international environmental journalist reporting from New Delhi and Bhubaneswar in India. She specializes in climate change, gender, water, renewable energy, migration & biodiversity, is passionately interested in rights of indigenous communities and photography | Web | Twitter |

Q&A: Achieving Sustainable Goals: “In the End it is All About People. If People Want, it Will Happen.”

Today just over two billion people live without readily available, safe water supplies at home. And more than half the world’s population, roughly 4.3 billion people, live in areas where demand for water resources outstrips sustainable supplies for at least part of the year.

Q&A: As Water Scarcity Becomes the New Normal How Do We Manage This Scarce Resource?

Growing economies are thirsty economies. And water scarcity has become “the new normal” in many parts of the world, according to Torgny Holmgren executive director of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

When a Grass Towers over the Trees

As governments scramble for corrective options to the worsening land degradation set to cost the global economy a whopping 23 trillion dollars within the next 30 years, a humble grass species, the bamboo, is emerging as the unlikely hero.

Crowd-Sourced Data and a Mobile Phone Application Are Making Cities Safer for Women

When Shiba Kurian alighted from Chennai’s city train, the evening office-returning crowd was thick and jostling. Having booked a ride-hail cab she walked out to the entrance. Instead of the cab for which she had to wait an hour, ribald comments and derisive laughter came her way from a group of roadside Romeos.

Q&A: “What Price Do We Put on Our Oceans?”

“Political resolve is the key for succeeding in our fight against oceans pollution,” Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, who is leading hands-on the organisation’s global campaign to clean up seas and oceans of plastic litter, agricultural run‑off and chemical dumping, told IPS.

The Urbanization of Malnutrition

Rapid urbanization is increasingly shifting the impacts of malnutrition from rural to urban areas. One in three stunted under-five children out of 155 million across the world now lives in cities and towns.

Indian Journalist’s Murder: The Ultimate Form of Press Censorship?

Dauntlessly crusading against curbs on freedom of speech, fifty-five-year-old Indian journalist Gauri Lankesh was gunned down at her very doorstep in Bengaluru city on the evening of Sep. 5, taking three bullets of the seven fired in her lungs and heart. She was shot from just three feet away.

One Earth: Why the World Needs Indigenous Communities to Steward Their Lands

“Showing them a picture-book crow, I intone ‘kaak’ in Bengali, the State language. While others repeat in chorus, the tribal Santhali first-graders respond with a blank look. They know the crow only as ‘koyo’. They’ll happily roll out glass marbles to count but ask them how many they counted, they remain silent because in their mother tongue, one is mit, two is bariah - very different sounding from the Bengali ek and du.”

SLIDESHOW: When Women Have Land Rights, the Tide Begins to Turn

In Meghalaya, India’s northeastern biodiversity hotspot, all three major tribes are matrilineal. Children take the mother’s family name, while daughters inherit the family lands.

When Women Have Land Rights, the Tide Begins to Turn

In Meghalaya, India’s northeastern biodiversity hotspot, all three major tribes are matrilineal. Children take the mother’s family name, while daughters inherit the family lands.

Trolling of Women Journalists Threatens Free Press

“It’s not what you say that prompts it—it’s the fact that you are saying it,” says Mary Beard, a Cambridge University classics professor about online trolling. “If you venture into traditional male territory, the abuse comes anyway. It is the many ways that men have silenced outspoken women since the days of the ancients.”

Asia’s Water Politics Near the Boiling Point

In Asia, it likely will not be straightforward water wars.

Energy Access Builds Inclusive Economies and Resilient Communities

Jaipal Hembrum runs three one-man home enterprises - a bicycle repair shop, a tiny food stall and a tailoring unit in Kautuka, a remote village in eastern India. Sewing recycled clothes into mattresses late into the evening, the 38-year-old father of three girls says two light bulbs fed by a solar power system have changed his life.

For South Asian Policy-Makers, Climate Migrants Still Invisible

Tasura Begum straightens up from picking a bushel of green chilis and looks at the mighty Padma River flowing by, wondering whose life it ruined today.

Q&A: Land Degradation Could Force 135 Million to Migrate in Next 30 Years

One of the critical challenges facing the world today is that emerging migration patterns are increasingly rooted in the depletion of natural resources.

Microsensor-Fitted Locust Swarms? Sci-fi Meets Conservation

Every November, India’s Gahirmatha beach in the Indian Ocean region develops a brownish-grey rash for 60 to 80 days. Half-a-million female Olive Ridley turtles emerge out of the waves to lay their eggs, over a hundred each. For the sheer numbers, this arrival is hard to miss.

Water Scarcity Could Impact West Asian Credit Ratings

Water scarcity, conflict and refugee exodus is the strongest megatrend in West Asia, indicating the status of current trends and how these factors may shape the future, according to UN Environment Programme’s sixth Global Environment Outlook - GEO-6 Regional Assessment for West Asia released May 2016.

Q&A: Crisis and Climate Change Driving Unprecedented Migration

Climate change is now adding new layers of complexity to the nexus between migration and the environment.

Not So Smart Idea

As Bhubaneswar experiences scorching heat of 43.2 degrees Celsius in early April, 5 degrees above normal, 44-year-old Prasanti Behera barely sleeps at night. Two summers ago, a fire charred 50 homes in her slum and burnt in seconds US$600 she had painstakingly saved over two years for her daughter’s marriage.

India Holds Up Farmers’ Plight from Extreme Weather for COP21 Delegates

“If you look at the submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs, the national commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030) by over 150 countries, most have announced mitigation-centric targets, whereas climate change is also about adaptation. India is among the few that has given a comprehensive INDC,” Ashok Lavasa, a key official of India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and part of its COP21 team at Paris, told IPS.

“Bringing Private Funds into Land Restoration is Risky”

The world loses 23 hectares to land degradation each and every minute, adding up to the disappearance of 12 million hectares worldwide – an area half the size of the UK.

Next Page »