Environment

If Vanuatu Can Ban Single-Use Plastics, so Can the Other Commonwealth Countries!

Cradled in the South Pacific, my home country Vanuatu is made mostly of ocean.  The Pacific covers 98% of the national jurisdiction. Here, some 280,000 Ni-Vanuatu like myself live simply off the land and sea.  We view the ocean as a living ‘bridge’ that connects islands and continents while sustaining life in all its forms. Where we come from, the ocean has a heartbeat.

Mixed Signals as Guyana Develops its Green Economy Strategy

Guyana is forging ahead with plans to exploit vast offshore reserves of oil and gas, even while speaking eloquently of its leadership in transitioning to a green economy at a recent political party congress addressed by the country's president.

New Relationship Evolves Between Society and Energy in Brazil

“We want to make history," agreed the teachers at the Chiquinho Cartaxo Comprehensive Technical Citizen School. They are the first to teach adolescents about generating power from bad weather in the semi-arid Northeast region of Brazil.

Poverty-Stricken Communities in Ghana are Restoring Once-Barren Land

In the scorching Upper East Region of Ghana, the dry seasons are long and for kilometres around there is nothing but barren, dry earth. Here, in some areas, it is not uncommon for half the female population to migrate to the country’s south in search of work, often taking their young children with them.

Use of Water for Electricity Generation Triggers Outcry in Mexico

One of the fears of the people of the Sierra Huasteca mountains in the state of San Luis Potosi in northeast Mexico is the construction of combined cycle power plants, which would threaten the availability of water.

SLIDESHOW: Planet Earth, The Only Home We Have

Climate change is on us. Parts of the planet are burning up. Heatwaves across the northern hemisphere have dried vegetation and withered crops. Forests are ablaze in North America, Europe and Asia – even as far north as the Arctic Circle. The polar ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising. Massive storms and floods have devastated communities. Deserts continue relentlessly to encroach. And the extraordinarily hot spells this summer followed on from the extraordinarily cold spells of last winter. In 2018, extreme weather is the order of the day.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

When faced with a crisis, our natural reaction is to deal with its immediate threats. Ateka* came to the make-shift clinic with profuse diarrhoea: they diagnosed cholera. The urgent concern in the midst of that humanitarian crisis was to treat the infection and send her home as quickly as possible. But she came back to the treatment centre a few days later – not for cholera, but because she was suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Doctors had saved her life but not restored her health. And there were others too, who like Ateka eventually succumbed to severe malnutrition.  

When Salt Water Intrusion is Not Just a Threat But a Reality for Guyanese Farmers

Mikesh Ram would watch his rice crops begin to rot during the dry season in Guyana, because salt water from the nearby Atlantic Ocean was displacing freshwater from the Mahaica River he and other farmers used to flood their rice paddies.

Scientists Warn of the Imminent Depletion of Groundwater in Chile’s Atacama Desert

Eighteen national science prize-winners in Chile have called for a halt to the over-extraction of water in the four regions over which the Atacama Desert spreads in the north of the country, a problem that threatens the future of 1.5 million people.

New Agreement with China: Opportunity to Save Mozambique’s Forests

Mozambique’s forests are disappearing at an alarming rate, with most of the destruction caused by excessive logging, corruption and weak laws.

Indigenous Peoples Least Responsible for the Climate Crisis

Indigenous peoples, who comprise less than five percent of the world’s population, have the world’s smallest carbon footprint, and are the least responsible for our climate crisis. Yet because their livelihoods and wellbeing are intimately bound with intact ecosystems, indigenous peoples disproportionately face the brunt of climate change, which is fast becoming a leading driver of human displacement.

Sousa, a Solar Power Capital in an Increasingly Arid Brazil

Sousa, a municipality of 70,000 people in the west of Paraíba, the state in Brazil most threatened by desertification, has become the country's capital of solar energy, with a Catholic church, various businesses, households and even a cemetery generating solar power.

States Must Act Now to Protect Indigenous Peoples During Migration

States around the world must take effective action to guarantee the human rights of indigenous peoples, says a group of UN experts. In a joint statement marking International day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the experts say it is crucial that the rights of indigenous peoples are realised when they migrate or are displaced from their lands:

Why the Flooding in Grenada is a Clear Reminder of its Vulnerability to Climate Change

Grenada is still tallying the damage after heavy rainfall last week resulted in “wide and extensive” flooding that once again highlights the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to climate change.

Why We Need Decentralized Renewable Energy to Power the World

As the energy sector is transforming, there is a growing consensus that sustainable energy is a catalyst for achieving most Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): it is crucial for better health, education, jobs, food production and conservation, as well as water use and quality.

VIDEO: Climate Change Could Have Devastating Consequences for Saint Lucia

The Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia is home to more than 2,000 native species — of which nearly 200 species occur nowhere else in the world. Though less than 616 square kilometres in area, the island is exceptionally rich in animals and plants.

Winds of Change on Kenya’s Northern Borders

Previously characterised by belligerence, based on competition for resources, the border regions of Eastern Africa can sense the blissful wind of peace approaching.

Amidst Rising Heat Waves, UN says Cooling is a Human Right, not a Luxury

The rising heat waves in the world’s middle income and poorer nations are threatening the health and prosperity of about 1.1 billion people, including 470 million in rural areas without access to safe food and medicines, and 630 million in hotter, poor urban slums, with little or no cooling to protect them, according to the latest figures released by the United Nations.

As It Recovers, Argentina’s Beef Production Faces Environmental Impact Questions

Beef is one of the symbols historically identified with Argentina. After lean years, production and exports are growing, as is the debate on the environmental impact of cattle, which is on the radar of environmentalists and actors in the agricultural value chain.

Land Degradation: A Triple Threat in Africa

Sustainability, stability, and security—the three overlapping issues are an increasing concern among many especially in Africa where land degradation is displacing citizens and livelihoods.

From Crowdfunding to Development Platforms: 8 Ways to Make Use of a Networked World

Hardly a day goes by in the development world without hearing the term “platform”. Like in the business world, it’s becoming harder for any development organization to provide a single service or product that will make broad impact. Airbnb doesn’t build homes, it creates a network that brings together host and guests.

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