Biodiversity

Legal Africa-Asia Wildlife Trade Gets a Look in

In recent years, the focus on wildlife trade between Africa and Asia has been almost exclusively on poaching of iconic mammals and the smuggling of their parts.

Costa Rica Studies Its Land, to Keep from Losing It

Donald Vásquez points to the soil on a farm located in one of the most degraded basins on the Pacific Ocean side of Costa Rica. Below, where he points with his index finger, there is a huge layer of white earth, with dozens of bare coffee plants struggling to produce beans in the next harvest.

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.

Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities Vital to the Global Environment

Indigenous Peoples and local communities are some of the best environmental stewards. Their livelihoods and cultures depend on forests, clean water and other natural resources, so they have strong incentives to sustainably manage their lands.

Biodiversity and Food Security: the Dual Focus of the World Potato Congress

Potatoes were first taken out of Peru, where they originated, 458 years ago to feed the world. Half a millennium later, potatoes have spread throughout the planet but there are challenges to preserve the crop’s biodiversity as a source of food security, as well as the rights of the peasants who sustain this legacy for humanity.

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.

Central America Weakens Forest Shield Against Future Droughts

Jazziel Baca lives in the municipality of Esquías, in western Honduras, one of the areas hardest hit by the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis), which damaged almost 500,000 hectares of forest in that Central American country between 2013 and 2015.

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.

Build Back Better: The Tiny Island of Dominica Faces New Climate Reality

McCarthy Marie has been living in the Fond Cani community, a few kilometres east of the Dominica capital Roseau, for 38 years. The 68-year-old economist moved to the area in 1979 following the decimation of the island by Hurricane David.

Indigenous People, Guardians of Threatened Forests in Brazil

Indigenous peoples, recognised as the best guardians of the world's forests, are losing some battles in Brazil in the face of intensified pressure from the expansion of agriculture, mining and electricity generation.

Q&A: “What Price Do We Put on Our Oceans?”

“Political resolve is the key for succeeding in our fight against oceans pollution,” Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, who is leading hands-on the organisation’s global campaign to clean up seas and oceans of plastic litter, agricultural run‑off and chemical dumping, told IPS.

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.

The Mekong, Dammed to Die

In Laos, the lush forests are alive with the whines of drills that pierce the air. On the Mekong, a giant concrete wall rises slowly above the trees. The Don Sahong dam is a strong symbol, not only for a power-hungry Asia but also for what critics fear is a disaster in the making.

SLIDESHOW: Two Models of Development in Struggle Coexist in Brazil’s Semi-arid Region

Irrigated green fields of vineyards and monoculture crops coexist in Brazil’s semiarid Northeast with dry plains dotted with flowering cacti and native crops traditionally planted by the locals. Two models of development in struggle, with very different fruits.

Will Policymakers Listen to Climate Change Science This Time Around?

Climate change is altering the ecosystem of our oceans, a big carbon sink and prime source of protein from fish. This is old news.

Locals Learn to Live in Harmony with Drought in Brazil’s Semi-arid Region

Irrigated green fields of vineyards and monoculture crops coexist in Brazil’s semiarid Northeast with dry plains dotted with flowering cacti and native crops traditionally planted by the locals. Two models of development in struggle, with very different fruits.

Pollution or How the ‘Take-Make-Dispose’ Economic Model Does Kill

The prevailing “Take-Make-Dispose” linear economic model consisting of voracious depletion of natural resources in both production and consumption patterns has proved to be one of the world’s main killers due to the huge pollution it causes for air, land and soil, marine and freshwater.

World Campaign to Clean Torrents of Plastic Dumped in the Oceans

With 30 countries from Kenya to Indonesia and from Canada to Brazil now involved in the world campaign to beat pollution by countering the torrents of plastic trash that are degrading oceans and endangering the life they sustain, the UN has strengthened its massive efforts to clean up the seas, which are the Earth’s main buffer against climate change.

The Shifting Dynamics of Rhino Horn Trafficking

Recent raids in South Africa have uncovered disturbing evidence of the changing dynamics of rhino horn trafficking from Africa to Asia.

Fisheries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific – Immense Opportunities, Critical Challenges

Fish is big business. The latest figures show that more than 165 million tonnes of fish are either captured or harvested in a year, with each person consuming more than 20kg of fish annually, according to the world average. Roughly US$ 140 billion worth of fish is traded globally per annum, with millions of people relying on jobs in fishing and fish-farming, not to mention the seafood industry which involves processing, transport, retail and restaurants.

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