Food & Agriculture

Conflict-Related Displacement: A Huge Development Challenge for India

The tarpaulin sheet, when stretched and tied to bamboo poles, is about the length and breadth of a large SUV. Yet, about 25 women and children have been sleeping beneath these makeshift shelters at several relief camps across Kokrajhar, a district in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam.

OPINION: Brazil Can Help Steer SDGs Towards Ambitious Targets

With the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expiring at the end of this year to be replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will set priorities for the next fifteen years, 2015 will be a crucial year for the future of global development.

OPINION: The Corporate Takeover of Ukrainian Agriculture

At the same time as the United States, Canada and the European Union announced a set of new sanctions against Russia in mid-December last year, Ukraine received 350 million dollars in U.S. military aid, coming on top of a one billion dollar aid package approved by the U.S. Congress in March 2014. 

Zimbabwe Battles with Energy Poverty

Janet Mutoriti (30), a mother of three from St Mary’s suburb in Chitungwiza, 25 kilometres outside Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, frequently risks arrest for straying into the nearby urban forests to fetch wood for cooking.

Africa’s Rural Women Must Count in Water Management

More women’s voices are being heard at international platforms to address the post-2015 water agenda, as witnessed at the recently concluded international U.N International Water Conference held from Jan. 15 to 17 in Zaragoza, Spain.

Renewables Can Benefit Water, Energy and Food Nexus

With global energy needs projected to increase by 35 percent by 2035, a new report says meeting this demand could increase water withdrawals in the energy sector unless more cost effective renewable energy sources are deployed in power, water and food production.

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.

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