Food & Agriculture

After Nine Years of Foot-Dragging, U.N. Ready for Talks on High Seas Treaty

After four days of intense negotiations - preceded by nine years of dilly-dallying - the United Nations has agreed to convene an intergovernmental conference aimed at drafting a legally binding treaty to conserve marine life and govern the mostly lawless high seas beyond national jurisdiction.

A “Rosetta Stone” for Conducting Biodiversity Assessments

This month saw an important milestone reached by the U.N.’s young Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES): Publication of its first public product.

Final Push to Launch U.N. Negotiations on High Seas Treaty

The United Nations will make its third - and perhaps final - attempt at reaching an agreement to launch negotiations for an international biodiversity treaty governing the high seas.

Pacific Islands Call for New Thinking to Implement Post-2015 Development Goals

As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of poverty-alleviation targets set by the United Nations, come to a close this year, countries around the world are taking stock of their successes and failures in tackling key developmental issues.

Children Starving to Death in Pakistan’s Drought-Struck Tharparkar District

The main entrance to the Civil Hospital in Mithi, headquarters of the Tharparkar district in Pakistan’s southern Sindh Province, is blocked by a couple of men clad in traditional dress and turbans. They are trying to console a woman who is sobbing so heavily she has to gasp for breath.She lost her two-year-old son just moments ago and these men, both relations of hers, were the ones to carry the child into the hospital where doctors tried – and failed – to save him.
Just a couple of yards away, a team of paramedics waits for the shell-shocked family to move on. They understand that the mother is in pain, but scenes like this have become a matter of routine for them: for the last two months they have witnessed dozens of people, mostly infants, die from starvation, unable to withstand the fierce drought that continues to grip this region.The death toll hit 650 at the close of 2014, but continues to rise in the New Year as scant food stocks wither away and cattle belonging to herding communities perish under the blistering sun.Among the dead are three-week-old Ramesh; four-month-old twin girls named Resham and Razia; and the yet-unnamed sons of a couple who are inconsolable after the passing of their newborn children.Edited by Kanya D’Almeida

Africa Must Prioritise Water in Its Development Agenda

Although African countries have been lauded for their efforts towards ensuring that people have access to safe drinking water in keeping with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), they have nonetheless come under scrutiny for failure to prioritise water in their development agendas.

In the Shadow of Glacial Lakes, Pakistan’s Mountain Communities Look to Climate Adaptation

Khaliq-ul-Zaman, a farmer from the remote Bindo Gol valley in northern Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has long lived under the shadow of disaster.

OPINION: For the Good of Humanity – Towards a Culture of Caring

About a week ago my wife was taken to hospital and diagnosed with pneumonia. She was promptly treated with antibiotics and, wonderfully, is now on the mend.

More Than Half of Africa’s Arable Land ‘Too Damaged’ for Food Production

A report published last month by the Montpellier Panel - an eminent group of agriculture, ecology and trade experts from Africa and Europe - says about 65 percent of Africa's arable land is too damaged to sustain viable food production.

European Citizens Call for Increased Aid to Developing World

An overwhelming majority of citizens in the 28-member European Union (EU) - which has been hamstrung by a spreading economic recession, a fall in oil prices and a decline of its common currency, the Euro - has expressed strong support for development cooperation and increased aid to developing nations.

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.

Family Farming Eases Food Shortages in Eastern Cuba

Meat and vegetables are never missing from the dinner table of Damaris González and Omar Navarro, since they get almost all of their food from their farm, La Revelación, on the outskirts of the city of Santiago de Cuba, 765 km east of the Cuban capital.

Organic Farming in India Points the Way to Sustainable Agriculture

Standing amidst his lush green paddy fields in Nagapatnam, a coastal district in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a farmer named Ramajayam remembers how a single wave changed his entire life.

Children Starving to Death in Pakistan’s Drought-Struck Tharparkar District

The main entrance to the Civil Hospital in Mithi, headquarters of the Tharparkar district in Pakistan’s southern Sindh Province, is blocked by a couple of men clad in traditional dress and turbans. They are trying to console a woman who is sobbing so heavily she has to gasp for breath.

Argentina Celebrates New Year Free of Trans Fats

After adopting a new law banning trans fats in industrially processed foods, Argentina is starting out the new year with an improved public health outlook. The challenge now is for the food industry to incorporate the new rules, in an adaptation process that started four years ago.

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