Civil Society

Governments and Social Movements Disagree on Future of Cities

The Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and the alternative forums held by social organisations ended in the Ecuadorean capital with opposing visions regarding the future of cities and the fulfillment of rights in urban areas.

Student Struggle in South Africa Gains Momentum

When #FeesMustFall began to trend on social media platforms in South Africa in October 2015, government shrugged it off as an example of isolated hotheads, while political pundits predicted the student campaign wouldn’t last.

U.N. Urban Summit Gives Rise to a Mixture of Optimism and Criticism

Experts and activists greeted with a mixture of hope and skepticism the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), which opened Monday Oct. 17 in the capital of Ecuador, and which seeks to produce a new urban agenda for cities and their inhabitants.

Unexpected Eritrean Journalistic Voice Rises in Ethiopia

It took Eritrean journalist Estifo* seven years to save up enough money to pay a fixer to get him and his family from the capital, Asmara, to the shared border with Ethiopia. After they crossed the border by foot, they turned themselves in to the Ethiopian authorities and claimed asylum as refugees.

Murders, Crackdown Create Lingering Climate of Fear in Bangladesh

Like the living room of any proud family, the one in Ajoy Roy’s house boasts photos of the eldest son, Avijit.

The Right to Development at 30 Years

It’s had a very useful if sometimes controversial past and it will have great relevance for many more years ahead. That’s the sense one has about the Declaration on the Right to Development as it is commemorated 30 years after its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in 1986.

Mexico City’s Expansion Creates Tension between Residents and Authorities

People living in neighborhoods affected by the expansion of urban construction suffer a “double displacement”, with changes in their habitat and the driving up of prices in the area, in a process in which “we are not taken into account,” said Natalia Lara, a member of an assembly of local residents in the south of Mexico City.

Argentina at Risk of an Educational System Serving the Market

In Argentina, teachers, students and trade unionists are protesting against mass redundancies in education, which they say are part of a process of undermining public education and a move towards a new model based on market needs.

The Public Benefit Organisations Act Will Help Kenya’s March Towards the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Kenya was launched on 14 September 2016, Representing President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Devolution and planning Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri, said Kenya was way ahead of implementing the SDGs through its Vision 2030, and the devolved system of Governance

New Government Inherits Conflict over Peru’s Biggest Mine

Of the 150 socioeconomic conflicts related to the extractive industries that Peru’s new government inherited, one of the highest-profile is the protest by the people living near the biggest mining project in the history of the country: Las Bambas.

Economic Growth in Bangladesh: Challenge and Change for Women

A recent research study “Bangladesh: Looking Beyond Garments” conducted by the Asian Development Bank ADB has revealed that the positive economic turnaround in Bangladesh is largely due the rising presence of women in the workplace.

Global Citizenship Education Aims to Break Down Artificial Barriers

The importance of education in the promotion of peace, sustainable development and human dignity, and the prevention of violent extremism, was the focus of a Global Citizenship Education Seminar at UN headquarters in New York on Friday September 9.

Making African Palm Oil Production Sustainable

“In San Lorenzo they cut down the jungle to plant African oil palms. The only reason they didn’t expand more was that indigenous people managed to curb the spread,” Ecuadorean activist Santiago Levy said during the World Conservation Congress.

When It Comes to Conservation, Size Matters

When the communities living in the Tatamá y Serranía de los Paraguas Natural National Park in the west of Colombia organised in 1996 to defend their land and preserve the ecosystem, they were fighting deforestation, soil degradation and poaching.

Without Indigenous People, Conservation Is a Halfway Measure

“You don't convert your own house in a tourist site,” said Oussou Lio Appolinaire, an activist from Benin, wearing a traditional outfit in vivid yellows and greens. He was referring to opening up to tourists places that are sacred to indigenous people.

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