ABU DHABI, Jan 17 2013 (IPS)
The 200-kilograms two-seater Zerotracer completely stole the show at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week
. Yours for about 150,000 euros, the vehicle works both as a car and a motorcycle, depending on the mood of the driver, by manually removing or adding two wheels. But that is not the real reason it’s a unique show-stopper.
High-tech showcases of renewable energy were not the only key element of the three-day International Renewable Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi – building political commitment towards seriously promoting renewable energy was an equally strong part of the summit, according to Mohammed El Ashry, chairman of Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st
Century (REN21), during a press conference that concluded the global event.
Awareness is growing that the excessive energy currently required to desalinate water is not sustainable in the long term. So the big question is how to make it financially viable and technically possible to deploy cleaner power sources.
Arid countries across the globe are finding themselves high and dry, with not enough groundwater to slake the thirst of both food crops and people.
But for coastal states, there is an obvious solution, although it is often energy-intensive.
Currently classified as one of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Nepal has one of the highest malnutrition rates globally, with over 41 percent of children suffering from chronic under-nourishment, particularly in rural areas.
Nepal now ranks 11th
on a list of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, yet it remains one of the least disaster-prepared nations globally.
Social activists in Nepal agree that the one reason why this impoverished country will miss the gender-linked Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of the United Nations is the persistence of child marriage.
Farmers in this fertile central district of south Nepal are convinced that an intense drought between May and early July that destroyed their maize crops is the result of climate change.
Almost unnoticed, Nepal’s burgeoning adult entertainment industry has been drawing young girls away from being trafficked across the border to the fleshpots of India’s big cities.
When Arati Chaudhary’s husband left for India to find work as a migrant labourer, the job of managing farm and family fell on her slender shoulders.
Nepal’s squabbling political parties have squandered an opportunity to pass into law one of the most gender-friendly constitutions ever devised.
Social activists say that attempts to rehabilitate sex workers in this former monarchy call for special efforts to uplift the Badi, a Hindu caste that has for centuries been associated with entertainment and prostitution.
Five years after Nepal abolished Kamalari, a system of girl slavery, thousands of young women are still awaiting promised rehabilitation and support from the new democratic republic.
Life, already hard in Nepal’s remote western region, is getting worse thanks to HIV infection brought back by men who go to neighbouring India for seasonal work.
Women in Nepal’s remote rural areas stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their men during the bloody 1996-2006 civil war that overthrew an oppressive monarchy, but many now battle domestic violence at home.