A generation after independence from the Soviet Union, most villages in Kyrgyzstan are ramshackle, broken places, scenes of hopelessness and despair. Able young people leave – for Bishkek, the capital, or for menial jobs in Russia. But thanks to a secret gold mine, one little mountain hamlet is different.
As government representatives gather Tuesday in Indonesia for what could be final negotiations towards a global trade agreement under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), environmentalists and social justice campaigners are urging them to specify that water resources cannot be treated as commodities.
The Uruguayan government, which recently passed a law on large-scale mining, does not actually have a clear idea of the country’s mineral wealth and has only just now proposed a geological study to find out.
Logging is the largest industry in the Solomon Islands, an archipelago located northwest of Fiji, where 80 percent of the islands are covered in tropical rainforest. But, although timber accounts for 60 percent of this South Pacific nation’s export earnings, most local communities have experienced no beneficial development.
More than a month after Cyclone Phailin battered Orissa, tribes in the eastern Indian coastal state are still feeling its wrath. Besides the damage to their homes and hearths, it has also meant a loss of their traditional food.
It’s a dirty, smelly business, but wastewater is gaining prominence across the Caribbean as countries from Jamaica in the west to Guyana in the south increasingly recognise its effects on the environment and the importance of improving its management.
The Arab world is widely perceived as blessed with an embarrassment of riches: an abundance of oil (Saudi Arabia), one of the world’s highest per capita incomes (Qatar), and home to the world's tallest luxury building (United Arab Emirates).
Reforestation and soil conservation programmes costing many thousands of dollars in this rural community have resulted in hundreds of small ledges built of straw or sacks of earth. In certain areas, the earthworks seem to be lasting, but in others, they are disintegrating.
Food security activists who secured a moratorium on introducing genetically modified brinjal (aubergine) into India fear that their efforts are being undermined by the release of GM brinjal in neighbouring Bangladesh.
The United States is calling for greater cooperation in the Arctic, even as it warns that it will defend its sovereignty in the face of strengthening international interest in newly opening shipping lanes and natural resource extraction opportunities as the region’s ice disappears.
The world’s poorest countries are rethinking economic policies that - even during periods of breakneck growth - have failed to provide quality employment capable of matching a demographic boom.
To the casual passer-by, Petrus Kabaliso and his wife Cynthia present a disarmingly rustic sight, seated as they are under the shade of a date palm at a truck stop in the scorching Karoo desert, in South Africa's Northern Cape province, a battered umbrella held jauntily over their heads.
Eight major multinational consumer products companies have come together to investigate whether it is possible to produce a sustainable form of “bioplastic”, made from plants rather than petroleum products.
As Mexico moves towards a controversial reform that would be the largest opening of the oil industry to foreign investors in decades, local communities and non-governmental organisations are fighting in court against earlier contracts with foreign companies, which have been possible since 2008.
The demonstration took place on land and sea simultaneously. In the end, police had arrested three people, including Gary Aboud, president of the Trinidadian NGO Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS), but protesters were undaunted. They would be back.