Has organised civil society, bound up in internal bureaucracy, in slow, tired processes and donor accountability, become simply another layer of a global system that perpetuates injustice and inequality?
Worried about the effects of global warming on agriculture, water and food security in their communities, social organisations in Central America are demanding that their governments put a priority on these issues in the COP20 climate summit.
As public policy, political transparency and open data need an active ingredient to bring about social change that would reduce inequality in Latin America: citizen participation, said regional experts consulted by IPS.
This December, 195 nations plus the European Union will meet in Lima for two weeks for the crucial U.N. Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, known as COP 20. The hope in Lima is to produce the first complete draft of a new global climate agreement.
Conserving the world's most valuable natural resources is the focus of the sixth World Parks Congress 2014, taking place Sydney, Australia. The congress, which takes place once every 10 years, is convened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
"We are underpaid, have no guns and in most instances are outnumbered by the poachers," says Stain Phiri, a ranger at Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve — a 986 km reserve said to have the most abundant and a variety of wildlife in Malawi — which also happens to be one of the country’s biggest game parks under siege by poachers.
A surge in wildlife crime is fuelling criminal syndicates, perpetuating terrorism, and resulting in the loss of major revenues from tourism and industries dependent on iconic species while also endangering the livelihoods of the rural poor.But this surge in wildlife crime is not only threatening iconic species, which include elephants, rhinos and tigers, but also lesser-known animals that are also on the brink of extinction.
For over 20 years, Mote Bahadur Pun of Nepal’s western Myagdi district has been growing ‘Paris polyphylla’ - a Himalayan herb used to cure pain, burns and fevers.
The vast habitat known as the Costa Rican Thermal Convection Dome in the eastern Pacific Ocean will finally become a protected zone, over 50 years after it was first identified as one of the planet’s most biodiversity-rich marine areas.
The Mountain Chicken isn’t a fowl, as its name suggests, but a frog. Kimisha Thomas, hailing from the Caribbean island nation of Dominica, remembers a time when she could find these amphibians or ‘crapaud’ as locals call them “just in the backyard”.
As the cyclonic storm Hudhud ripped through India’s eastern state of Andhra Pradesh, home to two million people, at a land speed of over 190 kilometres per hour on Sunday, it destroyed electricity and telephone infrastructure, damaged the airport, and laid waste to thousands of thatched houses, as well as rice fields, banana plantations and sugarcane crops throughout the state.
Cafés, real estate agencies, taxis and other small privately-owned businesses and cooperatives in Cuba have brought new life to the depressed local economy and have given rise to pockets of prosperity in the country’s towns and cities.
“We want healthy food, we want to produce according to our traditions,” farmers and activists demanded during an international forum of experts on agriculture and the environment in this southern Italian city.
For over five years, 33-year-old Maheshwar Basumatary, a member of the indigenous Bodo community, made a living by killing wild animals in the protected forests of the Manas National Park, a tiger reserve, elephant sanctuary and UNESCO World Heritage Site that lies on the India-Bhutan border.
Imagine a black-footed albatross feeding its chick plastic pellets, a baby seal in the North Pole helplessly struggling with an open-ended plastic bag wrapped tight around its neck, or a fishing vessel stranded mid-sea, a length of discarded nylon net entangled in its propeller. Multiply these scenarios a thousand-fold, and you get a glimpse of the state of the world’s oceans.