Stories written by Manipadma Jena
Manipadma Jena is an independent development journalist and communications consultant who works out of Bhubaneswar in eastern India. She specialises in environment, climate change, biodiversity, indigenous people and the MDG themes broadly. | Web | Twitter |

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.

Urgently Needed: Studies Linking Land Degradation, Migration, Conflict and Political Instability

Some 135 million people could be displaced by 2045 as a result of land desertification, according to a recent UK ministry of defence report. This figure could rise to 200 million who are displaced by other climate change impacts like natural disasters by 2050, said British environment refugee specialist Norman Myers.

Tribal Priestesses Become Guardians of Seeds in Eastern India

As the rhythmic thumping of dancing feet reaches a crescendo, the women offer a song to their forest god for a bountiful harvest.

Lessons from an Indian Tribe on How to Manage the Food-Forest Nexus

Scattered across 240 sq km on the remote Niyamgiri hill range in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, an ancient tribal group known as the Dongria Kondh have earned themselves a reputation as trailblazers.

Lessons from an Indian Tribe on How to Manage the Food-Forest Nexus

Scattered across 240 sq km on the remote Niyamgiri hill range in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, an ancient tribal group known as the Dongria Kondh have earned themselves a reputation as trailblazers.

Watch What Happens When Tribal Women Manage India’s Forests

Kama Pradhan, a 35-year-old tribal woman, her eyes intent on the glowing screen of a hand-held GPS device, moves quickly between the trees. Ahead of her, a group of men hastens to clear away the brambles from stone pillars that stand at scattered intervals throughout this dense forest in the Nayagarh district of India’s eastern Odisha state.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Climate Change

So much information about climate change now abounds that it is hard to differentiate fact from fiction. Scientific reports appear alongside conspiracy theories, data is interspersed with drastic predictions about the future, and everywhere one turns, the bad news just seems to be getting worse.

Integrated Farming: The Only Way to Survive a Rising Sea

When the gentle clucking grows louder, 50-year-old Sukomal Mandal calls out to his wife, who is busy grinding ingredients for a fish curry. She gets up to thrust leafy green stalks through the netting of a coop and two-dozen shiny hens rush forward for lunch.

Women on the Edge of Land and Life

November is the cruelest month for landless families in the Indian Sundarbans, the largest single block of tidal mangrove forest in the world lying primarily in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.

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