Combating Desertification and Drought

Mexico Looks to the Heavens for a Solution to Its Water Crisis

In neighbourhoods like Tehuixtitla in southern Mexico City, rain brings joy, because it provides water for showering, washing dishes and clothes, and cooking, by means of rainwater harvesting systems (RHS).

The Global Insecurity of Climate Change

For Sudanese youth, climate change is synonymous with insecurity. “We are living in a continuous insecurity due to many factors that puts Sudan on top of the list when it comes to climate vulnerability,” said Nisreen Elsaim, Sudanese climate activist and chair of United Nations Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change.

Successful Crop Innovation Is Mitigating Climate Crisis Impact in Africa

17 February - African smallholder farmers have no choice but to adapt to climate change: 2020 was the second hottest year on record, while prolonged droughts and explosive floods are directly threatening the livelihoods of millions. By the 2030s, lack of rainfall and rising temperatures could render 40 percent of Africa’s maize-growing area unsuitable for climate-vulnerable varieties grown by farmers, while maize remains the preferred and affordable staple food for millions of Africans who survive on less than a few dollars of income a day.

Cuban Farm Explores Sustainability by Hand

Most beginnings are rocky and sometimes the obstacles seem insurmountable, before they are finally overcome. This was certainly the case for the Finca Marta, a farm in Cuba that had to begin by digging a well in search of water and with the hard-scrabble work of clearing an arid, stony and overgrown plot of land.

Living with Drought: Lessons from Brazil’s Semiarid Region

No one died of hunger during the worst drought in Brazil's semiarid ecoregion, between 2011 and 2018, in sharp contrast to the past when scarce rainfall caused deaths, looting, a mass exodus to the South and bloody conflicts.

Why We Need Trees to End to Poverty – Landmark Report

With extreme poverty (living on $1.90 a day) projected to rise for the first time in over 20 years, a new study has concluded that global poverty eradication efforts could be futile in the absence of forests and trees.

Caribbean Communities Building Resilience through Water Harvesting

On the Eastern Caribbean (EC) islands of St KittsNevis, hotter and fewer rainfall days have begun to impact everyday life. 


Semiarid Regions of Latin America Cooperate to Adapt to Climate

After centuries of poverty, marginalisation from national development policies and a lack of support for positive local practices and projects, the semiarid regions of Latin America are preparing to forge their own agricultural paths by sharing knowledge, in a new and unprecedented initiative.

Fog Traps Save Chilean Farming Community from Severe Drought

"The harvested water has helped us at critical times and the fog nets have also brought us visibility. Today we produce beer here and many tourists come," says Daniel Rojas, president of the Peña Blanca Agricultural Community in Chile.

Indigenous Farmers Harvest Water with Small Dams in Peru’s Andes Highlands

A communally built small dam at almost 3,500 meters above sea level supplies water to small-scale farmer Cristina Azpur and her two young daughters in Peru's Andes highlands, where they face water shortages exacerbated by climate change.

Drought, rising temperatures, and extreme weather pose risks to Lesotho

The Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho is a place of stark beauty; deep canyons, majestic highlands, vertiginous hillsides, alpine grasslands, sun and sky. Although no bigger than Belgium, it is a critical watershed, giving rise to the headwaters – the ‘white gold’ – that feed two of the major river systems of southern Africa, the Senqu (Orange) and uThukela.

Press Release, Desertification and Drought Day, 17 June 2020

The cost and consequences of the land transformation grossly underestimated says the UN The cost and consequences of land use change are underestimated as demonstrated by COVID-19. Investing in the over 400 million hectares of land earmarked for restoration will help to build back better and safeguard our relationship with nature.

Why Reproductive Rights Must Be a Critical Part of Our Arsenal to Fight Pandemics

Sexual and reproductive health and pandemics might seem to be unrelated topics, but large and dense populations are drivers of the high velocity transmission of COVID-19, and there are lessons to be learned for the future.

COVID-19 Stimulus Measures Must Save Lives, Protect Livelihoods, and Safeguard Nature to Reduce the Risk of Future Pandemics

There is a single species that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic - us. As with the climate and biodiversity crises, recent pandemics are a direct consequence of human activity – particularly our global financial and economic systems, based on a limited paradigm that prizes economic growth at any cost. We have a small window of opportunity, in overcoming the challenges of the current crisis, to avoid sowing the seeds of future ones.

Haunting Forest Spirits – is Mother Nature Striking Back?

Epidemic diseases are not random events that afflict societies capriciously and without warning, on the contrary, every society produces its own specific vulnerabilities. To study them is to understand the importance of a society's structure, its standard of living, and its political priorities. […] Epidemics are a mirror, they show who we really are: Our ethics, beliefs, and socio-economic relationships.                                                                                                                                                           Frank Snowden 1

GEF Project to be Game-changer for Trinidad Quarries

A Trinidad and Tobago parliamentary report in 2018 made two disturbing observations about that country’s quarry sector:
  • Of the 67 mining operators on record, only 6 were operating with current licenses;
  •  The State loses large sums in the form of unpaid/uncollected royalties from quarry companies.

Zimbabwe’s Afforestation Challenge

“I have never planted a tree in my life,” laughs Jairos Saunyama, a tobacco farmer, revelling at the absurdity of the question of whether he is involved in the country's afforestation efforts. Sawunyama is one of thousands of farmers who are blamed by local conservationists for turning the country's forests into deserts and dust bowls.

A Positive Policy Turn for People Most Vulnerable To Drought Worldwide

The international community is developing policy measures and actions to help the people most vulnerable to drought to take early action to avoid loss of life, and the heavy and growing losses of livelihoods and damage to property and ecosystems following droughts.

As Planet Burns, One Million Species in World’s Eco-System in Danger of Extinction

When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the 193-member General Assembly last December, he focused on the smoldering climate crisis-- pointing out that the last five years have been the hottest ever recorded.

2020: a Year Full of Danger

Let’s face what lies ahead with open eyes: 2020 is going to be a very tough year for the world, and developing countries in particular. The infant decade has already begun with the harbingers of climate disaster as thousands fled to beaches in Australia from raging bush fires, and the Middle East braced for more conflict after a U.S. air strike in Baghdad killed Iran’s top general.

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