Natural Resources

The Libyan Disaster: Little Bits of History Repeating

The Libyan catastrophe and the suffering of ”illegal” migrants are generally depicted as fairly recent events, though they are actually the results of a long history of greed, contempt for others and fatal shortsightedness. Like former Yugoslavia, Libya was created from a mosaic of tribal entities, subdued by colonial powers and then ruled by an iron-fisted dictator. Now, Libya is a quagmire where local and international stakeholders battle to control its natural resources. The country holds the largest oil reserves in Africa, oil and gas account for 60 percent of GDP and more than 90 percent of exports.1 This is one reason why Egypt, France, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., and many other nations are enmeshed in Libya. Furthermore, European nations try to stop mainly sub-Saharan refugees and migrants from reaching their coasts from Libya. An attempt to understand Italy´s essential role in the struggle over Libya´s oil and attempts to control unwanted immigration may help to clarify some issues related to the current situation.

Why Environmental and Humanitarian Action Must Be Linked

Environmental and humanitarian action is often understood as two different sectors. However, the lack of awareness regarding its intersections could lead to further long-term devastation.

Indigenous Communities Head Towards Energy Self-Sufficiency in Guatemala

Because the government has never provided them with electricity, indigenous communities in the mountains of northwest Guatemala had no choice but to generate their own energy.

Could the Election of Qu Dongyu as FAO´s General-Director be a Turning-point for Sustainable Agricultural Development?

Agriculture is the bedrock of sedentary human civilization, without it we would have no governments or nations. It was food surplus generated by agriculture that enabled people to live in cities and form regimes able to organize food production in such a manner that some community members could engage in other activities than direct food production and thus give rise to the ideologies, techniques and goods which now constitute and govern our existence.

Air Pollution Ranked as Biggest Environmental Threat to Human Health

In a world that is becoming more and more industrial by the day, air pollution appears to be on the rise. While there have been efforts in major cities to combat the grave effects that pollution can have on the overall health of its citizens, there is still more progress to be made.

South Africa’s First Carbon Farm

Land restoration could attract large private investments in the fight against climate change over the coming decades, if Governments and the United Nations put the right incentives and conditions in place.

Developing Technologies for Zero-Carbon Economies

Never before has half a degree (0.5C) meant so much for humanity. We are behaving as if we have time to deal with climate change. We don’t. The main problem is that we believe we must sacrifice growth and prosperity for the sake of decarbonisation. We don’t.

Restoring Our Degraded Planet

On the 1st of March 2019, we saw one of the rare moments in history when the entire world comes together and agrees on a joint way forward. The United Nations General Assembly recognized the urgent need to tackle the compounded crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss, and passed a resolution to proclaim 2021-2030 as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. With the aim to restore at least 350 million hectares of degraded landscapes by 2030 – an area the size of India – the UN Decade is a loud and clear call to action for all of us. And it is a great opportunity for the UN-REDD Programme and its partner countries to build on 10 years worth of relevant experience with safeguards, impactful policies and measures, and attracting private and public investments.

Watch Out: Your Money Is Being Used to Destroy the World!

Perhaps the most direct way to introduce this tough issue is what the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, stated just one week ahead of the 5 June World Environment Day, which focuses this year on air pollution, caused chiefly by the use of fossil fuels both in transport, industry and even household cooking, heating, etc.

These Aliens Are Here to Stay (And They Are Dangerous)

No, no, no. Nothing to do with what US and Europe’s far-right fanatics now use to vociferate, saying once and again that “migrants come here to destroy our democracy, our civilisation, and our life-style”.

4 Revolutionary Tips to Stop Aquaculture and Fisheries Ignoring, Resisting or Eroding Gender Equality

In my years in fisheries research in Australia, few researchers were women, all fishers were assumed to be men, "girly" calendars were occasionally pinned on the office, lab or tea room wall at work and the workplace rules of engagement for women were still being worked out by trial and error. I vividly remember when my colleague, “Jessie”, the only woman technician in our research agency, was assigned to go into the field for a week to support a fish tagging project run by men scientists. The men took umbrage and went to the Union to protest this affront to their work conditions. The Union warned them that they could be sacked for discriminating against a woman. So change was at hand - or so it seemed.

Global Energy Consumption is Up — So Are Emissions

Our acceptance of climate change doesn’t keep pace with our energy consumption reduction. However, the latest International Energy Agency’s (IEA’S) Global Energy and CO2 Status Report for 2018 has some good news.

“A Question of Life or Death”

The mining industry is one of the world's most dangerous industries. Globally, the death toll is at least 14,000 workers per year. But how many lives are actually lost is something that neither trade unions, national governments or the United Nations know.

Lessons From China: Fostering Agricultural Growth and Poverty Reduction

As China has moved from a poor isolated country to a major player in the world economic and political sphere, developing countries need to learn how to engage.  

Pakistan’s Battle Against Climate Change

Pakistan, which has been listed as the 7th most vulnerable country affected by climate change, is now seriously tackling the vagaries of weather, both at the official as well as non-official level. Pursuant to an initiative launched by the Pakistan Parliament’s Upper House, the Senate, which specially entrusted a sub-Committee of the Standing Committee on Climate Change to focus on “Green and Clean” Islamabad, media, civil society and students have taken up the cudgels on combating climate change.

Global Governance and Information

The past seventy years since the end of the second world war have been marked by profound changes in our international system. Relations between states have become more horizontally structured interactions with a rising significance of the common good articulated and pursued by newly-created international programmes and organisations.

All What Your Jeans Can (and Do) Hide!

Paris, Milan, New York, Tokyo… These are just some of the world’s most prestigious fashion catwalks. There, and elsewhere, perfectly – and often unrealistically – silhouetted young women and men graciously parade to impress elite guests and TV watchers with surprising, fabulous creativity of the most renowned fashion designers and dressmakers.

What’s in a Name? Everything.

On March 19, 78 years old Nursultan Äbisjuly Nazarbayev unexpectedly announced his resignation as President of Kazakhstan, referring to the need for “a new generation of leaders”. The same day the speaker of the nation´s parliament was appointed as interim president, awaiting presidential elections scheduled for 2020.

Anguilla’s Fishers Share their First-Hand Knowledge About Climate Change and its Impact

Fishers in Anguilla saw posted on Youtube this week a video they helped produce that depicts the impacts of climate change on their industry. Titled “Anguilla’s Fishing Dilemma”, the four-and-a-half minute video highlights some of the main challenges Anguilla’s 92 licensed fishers face in earning a living.

Helping St. Vincent’s Fishers Maintain an Essential Industry in a Changing Climate

From an influx of sargassum in near-shore waters, to fish venturing further out to sea to find cooler, more oxygenated water, fishers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are battling the vagaries of climate change. The country is doing what it can to respond.

Innovative Sustainable Business: A Three Trillion-Dollar Opportunity that UN Environment Wants People to Develop

In the East African region, communities around the continent’s largest water body, Lake Victoria, regard the water hyacinth as a great menace that clogs the lake and hampers their fishing activities. But in Lagos, Nigeria, some groups of women have learned how to convert the invasive weed into a resource, providing them with the raw material needed to make handicrafts.

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