At the beginning of 2020, there were hopes that this would be a ’super year for nature’. It has not turned out that way. Tropical forests, so crucial for biodiversity, the climate and the indigenous communities who live in them, have continued to be destroyed at alarming rates. In fact, despite the shutdown of large parts of the global economy, rates of deforestation globally have increased since last year.
I am speaking with Gladys and Raúl about civic space in Paraguay, when Raúl suddenly tells me about the fires. Thick smoke has reached the capital Asunción where he is based. In October, Paraguay became Dante’s Inferno.
When President Luis Abinader arrived at his inauguration in an electrically driven car as a symbolic gesture of his Government’s intentions to make sustainable development one of its main objectives – he signalled the start of addressing climate change commitments in the country.
World Food Day, a day dedicated to tackle world hunger, is annually celebrated on October 16, 2020 globally. To commemorate this day, the North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS
) along with its partner organisations — Society for Urban and Rural Empowerment (SURE
) and North East Network (NEN
), Nagaland — hosted several programmes across 27 communities in Meghalaya and Nagaland. It may be mentioned here that all government SOPs and measures were followed during the events.
Coastal fisheries in the Pacific Islands have become a food and livelihood lifeline to many people who have lost jobs, especially in urban centres and tourism, following COVID-19 lockdowns and border closures. Now governments and development organisations are trying to meet the crisis-driven survival needs of here and now, while also considering the long-term consequences on near shore marine resources and habitats.
Africa’s hopes of feeding a population projected to double by 2050 amidst a worsening climate crisis rest on huge investments in agriculture, including creating the conditions so that women can empower themselves and lead efforts to transform the continent’s farming landscape.
The United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Ms Amina Mohammed recently commended “Kenya’s exemplary role in its response to COVID-19 and in advancing Agenda 2030
This week, Heads of State and Government from 64 countries announced one of the strongest pledges yet to reverse the loss of biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people by 2030. Advancing from powerful pledges to concrete policy and action, however, means that nature must be moved to the heart of global, national and local decision-making. It’s time for nature to be reintegrated into everything we do.
We usually think of livelihoods and lives separately, however, it is now time to imagine a more integrated approach.
About 40 kilometres out of Uganda’s capital, Kampala, in the Mpigi area, you can find an entire village hill with houses that have plastic bottles walls and car tyre rooftops.
Investing in sustainable land management and land restoration will help build economies post-COVID-19 and help poor people increase their incomes as the destruction of global food chains by the pandemic provides a chance for ensuring diversity in production through ensuring the inclusion of local producers.
Going against its own orders, the government in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has ordered the fast-tracking of environmental clearances despite manifest evidence of illegal sand mining.
The Ogiek community, indigenous peoples from Kenya’s Chepkitale National Reserve, are in the process of implementing a modern tool to inform and guide the conservation and management of the natural forest. The community has inhabited this area for many generations, long before Kenya was a republic. Through this process, they hope to get the government to formally recognise their customary tenure in line with the Community Land Act.
GDP has been increasingly challenged on many grounds as a measure of economic and social progress. Clearly, GDP does not take account of other dimensions of wellbeing, natural resource depletion or environmental damage.
When governments and states begin their recovery journey from the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there might be a heightened threat to indigenous peoples, their land and resources.
“The fear is [that] the economic recovery is based on access to land and natural resources,” Lola García-Alix, senior advisor on Global Governance at the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), told IPS.
Unless there is a restructuring of debt for developing countries, the servicing for this debt will take away valuable resources from these nations that are needed to prevent the further suffering of people during the coronavirus pandemic -- particularly with regards to safeguarding the health systems, and protecting the “integrity and resilience of economies”.
Few things are as natural and as necessary as eating food. However, if food producers, food processors, food handlers and consumers do not follow good food safety practices, food can become contaminated and rather than nourishing us and bringing us pleasure it can make us sick or even kill us.
Landless farmers who produce rice for the landlords of big “haciendas” can’t get more than a little pocket money from their harsh work—not enough to provide diverse and healthy food for their families. Seasonal workers on sugar-cane plantations know that they can count on only six months of earnings. When summer arrives, those whose irrigation facilities have been destroyed by typhoons, or those who never had any, struggle while waiting for the rain.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inherent fragility of food systems, Marta Antonelli told an international video conference organised by the Barilla Center for Food Nutrition (BCFN).
In 2011, when Rwanda committed to restoring 2 million hectares of land in a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested areas by 2020 — it seemed like a big ask.
Africa’s frailties have been brutally exposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has reached nearly every country on this continent of 1.3 billion people and the World Health Organization warns there could be 10 million cases within six months. Ten countries have no ventilators at all.