Climate Change

For Healthier Food Systems: Turn the Tide Against Ultra-Processed Products

COVID-19 has exposed serious vulnerabilities in how people around the world access and consume food. One of the more alarming trends is the significant increase in the consumption of foods that may be tasty and convenient, but harm our heath. These ultra-processed products include sugary drinks, snack foods, frozen meals, packaged breads and frozen desserts.

The UN Food Systems Summit and Some Issues of Concern

Why is the UN holding a Food Systems Summit? Two issues that need discussion at the international leadership level are: Long before the Covid crisis was upon us, the number of hungry people in the world was increasing. Why ? What is the cause of this disturbing trend? And, can a country really claim to be food secure, unless it produces or can buy enough food to feed its population and its people can access sufficient quantities to keep themselves fit and healthy? Disquietening questions as extreme weather begins to show the destructive power that climate change will have on the planet and its people.

How Jamaica got Youth Climate Action Engagement Right

When the NDC Partnership, the alliance which helps governments to determine and achieve their climate goals, held its first-ever Global Youth Engagement Forum in July, several segments were underpinned by Jamaica’s model of engaging young people and sustaining youth interest in climate initiatives.

Food Experts’ Expectations for Global Food Systems Transformation

Dubbed ‘the People’s Summit, the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) hopes to put the world back on a path to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, through food systems overhauling. From the tempered to the extremely optimistic, experts in various food system sectors share their expectations of transformation.

Fundamental Changes Needed at UN Summit to Tackle Global Food Insecurity

COVID-19 has exposed numerous fractures in global food systems that leave millions at risk of food insecurity. Like the numerous political failures in dealing with COVID, the repercussions of food system failings are experienced by rich and poor countries alike, with the poorest and most marginalised paying the greatest price.

Even as IUCN Congress Closes, Conservation Debate Hots Up

One of the most hotly debated issues at the recently concluded IUCN Congress in Marseilles was about designating 30 percent of the planet's land and water surface as protected areas by 2030.

Southeast Asian Farmers Adapt, Insure against Growing Climate Risks

As incidents of drought and extreme rainfall increase, farmers in Southeast Asia are partnering with experts to develop targeted weather forecasts to work around the threats and, when adaptation becomes too costly, buy specially designed insurance to protect their livelihoods.

Commonwealth to Champion Climate-Vulnerable Small States at COP26

The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland called for urgent action to ensure improved climate resilience of small states and promised to amplify the concerns of small and other vulnerable states around climate change at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow this November.

CommonSensing Project Builds Climate Resilience for Small Island Nations

The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP) CommonSensing is led by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) through the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT), which is working with selected partners including the Commonwealth Secretariat, to improve resilience to the effects of climate change in Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Latin America’s Central Banks Push Climate Crisis to the Back Burner

Despite the impact that their policies have with regard to the climate emergency, Latin America's central banks continue to avoid applying guidelines in measures that affect the operation of credit institutions, which distances them from compliance with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Caribbean Under Threat: Report Reveals Enormous Challenges for the Region

Less than halfway into the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Jamaica and its Caribbean neighbours were already tallying the costs of infrastructural damage and crop losses from the passage of three tropical storms - Elsa, Grace and Ida. And after a record-breaking 2020 season, the region is on tenterhooks as the season peaks.

In a Watershed Year for Climate Change, the Commonwealth Secretary-General calls for Urgent, Decisive and Sustained Climate Action

This November, five years after signing the Paris Agreement and pledging to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a further target of below 1.5 degrees Celsius, world leaders will meet in Glasgow, UK amid COVID-19 pandemic shocks, rising hunger and an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that warns of more extreme temperature, droughts, forest fires and ice sheet loss due to human activity.

Climate Crisis Drives Up Cost of Electricity and Brings Big Changes in Brazil

As most of the world seeks to modify its energy mix to mitigate climate change, Brazil has also been forced to do so to adapt to the climate crisis whose effects are being felt in the country due to the scarcity of rainfall.

The ARC Model: Proactive Disaster Risk Financing for a More Resilient Africa

The world faces multiple crises: climate change, extreme weather events, food security and biodiversity. For African nations, these issues are compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic outbreaks that include Rift Valley Fever and Malaria. With 35 African Union Member States as signatories to its establishment Treaty, the African Risk Capacity (ARC) Group – comprising of ARC Agency and ARC Limited - works with Governments to help improve their capacities to better plan, prepare, and respond to extreme weather disasters and natural disasters.

Fiddling in Nairobi While Africa Goes Hungry

As the United Nations gears up for its Food Systems Summit September 23, the urgent need for structural changes in how we grow, harvest, distribute, and consume food has never been more apparent.

‘COVICANE’ – How One Caribbean Country is Coping with the Hurricane Season during COVID-19

Around 2 pm on August 18, 89-year-old farmer Whitnel Louis and his wife Ayma began packing up their unsold produce, hoping to leave the capital of Roseau and get home way ahead of the 6 pm curfew recently put in place to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Argentina Takes Controversial Step Backwards in Biofuel Production

Argentina, historically an agricultural powerhouse, has become a major producer of biofuels in recent years. However, this South American country is now moving backwards in the use of this oil substitute in transportation, a decision in which economics weighed heavily and environmental concerns have been ignored.

Jamaica Walking a Tightrope Between Boosting the Economy and Cutting Emissions in COVID-19 Era

Even as COVID-19 walloped Jamaica’s economy last year, the government overhauled its energy emissions milestones to create what many described as a post-pandemic recovery package, based on stronger carbon targets for the farming and forestry sectors.

Cook Islands Entrepreneur Develops Hydroponics Greenhouse to Boost Local Food Production

Finding ways to be smarter producers of food was a priority in small island developing states (SIDS) before the outbreak of Covid-19. Now the ideas of farmers and entrepreneurs, such as Piri Maao in the Cook Islands, are being avidly sought by governments and development bodies, which are keen to drive resilience and recovery as the pandemic moves into its second year.

Digital Tech can Help African Island States Cope with Climate Change

Investing in digital technologies can help African small island developing states (SIDS), vulnerable to extreme weather events, cope with growing impacts of climate change, says the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Needed in the Global South: Wastewater Collection for COVID-19 Detection

Understanding the scale and intensity of the COVID-19 virus and its emerging variants, predicting the pandemic’s direction, and developing and refining associated management response options are challenges likely to confront public-health officials and national governments worldwide well into the future.

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