Combating Desertification and Drought

Will the Next War Be About Water?

One of the first resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, on the location of the headquarters of the Organization, gives the United Nations “exclusive rights over the subsoil of land conveyed to it, and in particular the right to make constructions underground and to obtain therefrom supplies of water.”

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: First Response in Conflicts & Natural Disasters

When disaster strikes, or conflict rages, families soon discover their most urgent need - water. In such precarious situations, access is usually limited or non-existent, and children and their families are forced to put themselves in further danger in the quest for water.

World Water Day – Nature for Water

The UN General Assembly will launch the International Decade for Action: Water for sustainable development (2018-2028) on World Water Day, 22 March 2018. According to UNGA President Miroslav Lajcak, outlining his priorities for 2018, the event will “contribute to the review of SDG 6” during the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

Water Scarcity: India’s Silent Crisis

As Cape Town inches towards ‘Zero Hour’ set for July 15, 2018, the real threat of water scarcity is finally hitting millions of people worldwide. For on that day, the South African city's 3.78 million citizens -- rich and poor, young and old, men and women -- will be forced to queue up with their jerry cans at public outlets for their quota of 25 litres of water per day.

Water Stress Poses Greatest Threat to MENA Region

This year, World Water Day, celebrated annually on 22 March, is themed “Nature for Water”, examining nature-based solutions (NBS) to the world’s water problems.

We Must Talk to Each Other to Solve Gender Inequality

The international community agreed on the global Goal of achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment by 2030. But we can’t reach it – not even by 2050 – until we talk to each other, rather than past each other. If we are serious about empowering women and girls, we have to bridge the huge chasm that exists between the advocates of gender equality, on the one hand, and advocates of other Goals, on the other.

Forest Communities Join Forces to Fight Land Degradation in Mexico

Forest communities play a fundamental role in Mexico in combating land degradation, but they need more support to that end.

Three Things Cape Town Teaches Us About Managing Water

Cape Town has always been water insecure. The city has done some things well to prepare for a situation like this, but if the drought has shown us something, it is that you need to get everything right and have some luck on top to get out unscathed when the unexpected actually happens.

Some of the World’s Biggest Lakes Are Drying Up. Here’s Why.

Tire tracks stretched across the flat lake bed to the horizon. We followed them in a Suzuki 4x4, looking for clues about what’s happened to Poopó, once Bolivia’s second largest lake, which has vanished into the thin air of the Andean highlands.

Village Savings: Helping Small Farmers Weather Climate Shocks

In the past, Lameck Sibukale only knew savings in the form of rearing chickens, goats and more importantly, cattle—a long cherished cultural heritage of the Tonga-speaking people of southern Zambia.

Climate-Related Disasters Cost Nearly $400 Billion in 2017

I am pleased to be with you at this important and timely summit on climate risk and to discuss the opportunities that are there for us to seize through decisive climate action.

Women on the Front Lines of Halting Deforestation

In Zimbabwe, the bulk of rural communities and urban poor still get their energy supplies from the forests, leading to deforestation and land degradation.

Can Drought Be Prevented? Slovakia Aims to Try

A landmark programme to combat drought set to be implemented in the small Central European country of Slovakia could be an inspiration for other states as extreme weather events become more frequent, the environmental action group behind the plan has said.

Argentina’s Law on Forests Is Good, But Lacks Enforcement

Never in the parliamentary history of Argentina had something similar happened: one and a half million people in 2007 signed a petition asking the Senate to pass a law to reduce deforestation. The law was quickly approved, and promulgated on Dec. 26 of that year. But 10 years later, it has left a bittersweet taste.

Policy Support Gap for “Climate-Smart” Agriculture

Conditioned that ploughing is the sure way to produce crops, Zimbabwean farmer Handrixious Zvomarima surprised himself by trying a different method. He planted cowpea seeds directly without tilling the land. It worked.

Disasters Bring Upheaval to Sri Lanka’s Rural Economy

Last year was an annus horribilis for 52-year-old Newton Gunathileka. A paddy smallholder from Sri Lanka’s northwestern Puttalam District, 2017 saw Gunathileka abandon his two acres of paddy for the first time in over three and half decades, leaving his family almost destitute.

The Political Responsibility in the Collapse of Our Planet

On 20 December, Europe’s 28 Ministers of Environment met in Brussels, to discuss the plan for reducing emissions prepared by the Commission, to comply with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Well, it is now clear that we have lost the battle in keeping the planet as we have known it. Now, of course, this can be considered a personal opinion of mine, devoid of objectivity.

Long Maligned for Deforestation, Charcoal Emerges from the Shadows

“We have various financial obligations that push us to charcoal making. Top on the list is farming inputs and school fees,” explains Arclay Moonga, a charcoal producer and chairperson of the recently formed Choma District Charcoal Association in Southern Zambia.

Money Talks at One Planet Summit in Paris

As funding to combat climate change has lagged behind lofty words, the One Planet Summit in France this week invited governments and business leaders to put money on the table.

Combating Climate Change? Combat Land Degradation, Says UNCCD Chief

Land restoration is not a “glamorous subject even when you give all the numbers,” admits Monique Barbut, the Executive Secretary of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification UNCCD). But she also stresses that by 2050, the world population will reach 10 billion. To feed that extra 2.4 billion, current food production would need to be increased by 75 percent.

On Gender Day at Climate Meet, Some Progress, Many Hurdles

“Five years ago, when we first started talking about including gender in the negotiations, the parties asked us, ‘Why gender?’ Today, they are asking, ‘How do we include gender?’ That’s the progress we have seen since Doha,” said Kalyani Raj.

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