Active Citizens

Solving the Climate Crisis is Beyond Governments

Throughout my ten years working in international development and climate policy, I’ve mostly heard colleagues talk about the private sector as if it was this intangible, multifaceted medusa with its own business lingo that is impossible for us policy experts to tackle: “the ‘private sector’ needs a return on investment in order to act on climate” or “the ‘private sector' does not have the right incentives, but we need ‘private’ capital to solve this crisis”


Forests, Food & Farming Next Frontier in Climate Emergency

The special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  on climate and land, launched last week, makes it clear that without drastic changes in land use, agriculture and human diets, we will fall significantly short of targets to hold global temperature rise below 1.5°C. 

Mexican Women Use Sunlight Instead of Firewood or Gas to Cook Meals

Reyna Díaz cooks beans, chicken, pork and desserts in her solar cooker, which she sets up in the open courtyard of her home in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of this town in southwestern Mexico.

Revitalizing Indigenous Languages Is Critical

Being fluent in a world language is a desirable skill in modern day society. However, some languages are suffering and in danger of extinction -- namely those of the indigenous peoples.

A Call for Healthy, Blue Oceans in Asia and the Pacific

Leaders at the Group of 20 summit last month agreed on the “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision,” which aims to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) stands ready to support Japan and other countries in the region to ensure healthy and sustainable oceans.

Is Civil Society Arguing Itself out of Political Space?

As some of you will know I have a new book out Stakeholder Democracy: Represented Democracy in a Time of Fear.  (other contributors to the book were:  Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, Carolina Duque Chopitea, Minu Hemmati, Susanne Salz, Bernd Lakemeier, Laura Schmitz, and Jana Borkenhagen). 

Using Renewable Energy and the Circular Economy to Fight Poverty in Argentina

On the outer edges of Buenos Aires proper, where the paved streets end and the narrow alleyways of one of Argentina’s largest shantytowns begin, visitors can find the En Haccore soup kitchen.

How Skills Can Change Lives of World’s Youth

When the United Nations commemorated World Youth Skills Day, there was one stark reality that emerged out of the event: the world’s youth account for over a third of the global population of more than 7.7 billion people, and they also account for over a third of those unemployed across the globe.

Japan Boosts Complex Fight to Eliminate Leprosy in Brazil

When cases of Hansen's disease, better known as leprosy, increase in Brazil, it is not due to a lack of medical assistance but to the growing efficacy of the health system in detecting infections, contrary to the situation in other countries.

Solar Collectors and Solidarity Change Lives in Argentina

"This is the best thing ever invented for the poor," says Emanuel del Monte, pointing to a tank covered in black tarps protruding from the roof of his house. It forms part of a system built mostly from waste materials, which heats water through solar energy and is improving lives in Argentina.

Chilean Schools Recycle Greywater to Combat Drought

Children from the neighboring municipalities of Ovalle and Río Hurtado in northern Chile are harvesting rain and recycling greywater in their schools to irrigate fruit trees and vegetable gardens, in an initiative aimed at combating the shortage of water in this semi-arid region.

Indigenous Communities Head Towards Energy Self-Sufficiency in Guatemala

Because the government has never provided them with electricity, indigenous communities in the mountains of northwest Guatemala had no choice but to generate their own energy.

The New Face of Activism: Youth

Rather than waiting for adults to act, more young girls and boys are standing up and speaking out on the world’s pressing issues.

Citizenship & Growth: Inclusive Citizenship Laws Tend to Foster Economic Development

The notion of citizenship has evolved over time. Historically, allegiance was typically to an ethnic group or a feudal lord. With the birth of the nation-state in the 19th century came the need to distinguish between those who belonged to the state and those who didn’t, and therefore to create a legal distinction between nationals and foreigners.

Aid Organisations Welcome New Development Chief

International aid organisations have reacted positively to the appointment of new UK International Secretary of State for Development, Rory Stewart.

Is UAE Leading the Way for Concentrated Solar Power in GCC?

In April 2019, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published a report on a “roadmap to 2050” in terms of renewable energy.

Fifth World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue: Societies must work together to build more tolerant, peaceful and coexisting societies through equal citizenship rights

(Geneva Centre) - In times when religions have been considered as a source of hatred and division, harnessing its collective energy in the pursuit of equal citizenship rights is needed more than ever, concluded a group of eminent experts on inter-faith dialogue during a panel debate.

LGBTQI Rights in the Balkans: A Perpetual Struggle

Romanian Adrian Coman and his American-born partner Clai Hamilton had two major reasons to celebrate when they tied the knot last June.

On World Press Freedom Day, Let us Ask: #WhereIsAzory?

Speaking in parliament recently, Tanzania’s information minister, Harrison Mwakyembe, wondered why people were still concerned about the whereabouts of Azory Gwanda, a freelance journalist who went missing in November 2017 in the country’s Coast Region.


Trump’s Arms Control Gambit: Serious or a Poison Pill?

Smart U.S. leadership is an essential part of the nuclear risk reduction equation. Unfortunately, after more than two years into President Donald Trump’s term in office, his administration has failed to present a credible strategy to reduce the risks posed by the still enormous U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, which comprise more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

Land Conservation: A Risky Business

In light of land degradation and climate change, the protection of the environment is crucial—but the protection of the very people working tirelessly and with much risk to preserve nature should be just as important.

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