Environment

Devastating Droughts Continue as El Nino Subsides

Although the devastating El Niño of 2015 to 2016 has now subsided, in many parts of Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia rains and harvests are not expected to recover until 2017.

San Juan City: The Smart City of the Future

The Philippines has so much to offer to the world, not only ecological treasures by way of tourism, but brilliant minds, visionaries, and craftsmen. Other nations find the uniqueness and diversity of our ecology unimaginable—such as having the third-longest coastline in the world as well as endemic species of plants and animals. Another unimaginable phenomenon, our economy remains strong despite the fact we are crossed by an average of 21 typhoons a year and is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire—prone to eruption of active volcanoes, and earthquakes.

Economic Recovery Needed To Enhance Food Security

After a half century of decline, agricultural commodity prices rose with oil prices in the 1970s, and again for a decade until 2014. Food prices rose sharply from the middle of the last decade, but have been declining since 2012, and especially since last year, triggering concerns of declining investments by farmers.

Malawi Leads Africa’s Largest Elephant Translocation

One of the world's largest and most significant elephant translocations kicked off earlier this month within Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi.

We Ignore Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Livestock Industry at Our Own Peril

According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, the production of meat and other animal-based products is responsible for around 18 to 20 percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

Germany’s Energy Transition: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Immerath, 90 km away from the German city of Cologne, has become a ghost town. The local church bells no longer ring and no children are seen in the streets riding their bicycles. Its former residents have even carried off their dead from its cemetery.

Fast-track Development Threatens to Leave Indigenous Peoples Behind

Fast-tracked development often means that indigenous people and their territories get run over and their rights are not taken into consideration, Roberto Borrero, from the International Indian Treaty Council and Indigenous Peoples Major Group, said here Friday.

Biodiversity, GMOs, Gene Drives and the Militarised Mind

A recent report from the National Academy of Science of The United States, titled Gene Drives on the Horizon : Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values”, warns:

Rewriting Africa’s Agricultural Narrative

Albert Kanga Azaguie no longer considers himself a smallholder farmer. By learning and monitoring the supply and demand value chains of one of the country’s staple crops, plantain (similar to bananas), Kanga ventured into off-season production to sell his produce at relatively higher prices.

New Study on Earthquake

A new study using ground and satellite GPS monitors have concluded that the north-eastern corner of the Indian subcontinent encompassing Bangladesh, eastern India and parts of Myanmar is at risk of a major earthquake, and the effect when it occurs would be on a massive scale (8.2 to 9 on the Richter scale). The study conducted at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University should be taken seriously, particularly by Bangladesh which has several issues going against it in the event of a major quake.

IPS Interview with Bernadette Lahai On the Pan African Parliament Food and Nutrition Security Agenda

Dr.Bernadette Lahai, Vice President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), discusses the multitude of challenges facing the African continent and how the PAP plans to overcome them. With the rise of malnutrition as a direct result of ongoing food insecurity, the Parliament will play an indispensable role in the future of food in the African continent.

Large-Scale Rainwater Harvesting Eases Scarcity in Kenya

Rainwater harvesting in Kenya and other places is hardly new. But in this water-stressed country, where two-thirds of the land is arid or semiarid, the quest for a lasting solution to water scarcity has driven useful innovations in this age-old practice.

Global Coalition Seeks Ban on Mercury Use

A coalition of over 25 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has launched a global campaign to end a longstanding health and environmental hazard: the use of mercury in dentistry.

The Future of Food in Cities: Urban Agriculture

Habitat III, the UN’s conference on cities this coming October will explore urban agriculture as a solution to food security, but here in New York City, it has shown potential for much more.

Rethinking the Population Problem

With the knowledge that Bangladesh's population - which was about 75 million in 1971 - now stands bloated to more than 160 million, all crammed into a land area of only 50,260 sq miles and that the population density is already five times that in any other 'mega' country, contemplate the following scenarios and see if you want to picture the country with any further addition to its population. A population that renders running trains to become invisible under loads of humanity spilling out of their interiors and clinging to all over their exteriors, while carrying people to their homes in the countryside on the eve of Eids; traffic jams resulting into prolongation of say a 30-minute trip in the cities to an absurd three-hour trip; unbridled population increase that has already brought down the per capita land to 24 decimals or less and cultivable land to some 11 decimals; law courts reeling under the unwieldy burdens of hundreds of thousands of civil and criminal suits; innumerable daily occurrences of land-related disputes, countless crimes and murders; dying and moribund rivers; desertification and salinity intrusion from the sea; dire inadequacy of water supply causing distress to an enormous segment of the urban and rural population; a catastrophe from the rising sea-level looming large and threatening to submerge one-third of the land area of the country, which could thus engender the need to move and rehabilitate over 50 million internal migrants in the remaining two-thirds of the country's land territory, which could in turn raise the already high population density to an absurd level; fast-shrinking agricultural and cultivable land due to unplanned and uncontrolled urbanisation, industrialisation, infrastructural and development projects implementation; increasing cost of living, healthcare and education, and rampant and ubiquitous corruption and unscrupulousness; admission of even infants to schools depending on lottery and parents' capability to pay donations and; myriads of such other woes afflicting our daily life.

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