This is not about any alarming header—it is the dramatic conclusion of several scientific studies about the on-going climate change impact on the Middle East region, particularly in the Gulf area. The examples are stark.
With Kenya’s meteorological records over the last 50 years indicating increased irregularity and variability in precipitation, the effects of changing climate are hitting hard. Rising temperatures as well other forms of extreme weather events in form of droughts and floods are a common feature.
As Bhubaneswar experiences scorching heat of 43.2 degrees Celsius in early April, 5 degrees above normal, 44-year-old Prasanti Behera barely sleeps at night. Two summers ago, a fire charred 50 homes in her slum and burnt in seconds US$600 she had painstakingly saved over two years for her daughter’s marriage.
Now that Yemenis begin to hope that their year-long armed conflict may come to an end as a result of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United Nations sponsored round of talks between the parties in dispute, scheduled on 18 April in Kuwait, a new threat to their already desperate humanitarian crisis has just appeared in the form of a much feared massive desert locust invasion.
Bangladesh has decided to set up a Hilsa Conservation Trust Fund (HCTF) to protect this fish from over-exploitation due to population growth and effects of climate change.
Delegates from 83 countries came together at the United Nations from March 28 to April 8 for the first in a series of landmark meetings on ocean protection. This Preparatory Committee will help forge an agreement to determine how nations move forward to protect the high seas—the 64 percent of the ocean that belongs to everyone but is governed by no one.
In the last months of 2014 breaking news shocked the world’s chocolate lovers: within a few years the world could face a significant potential cocoa shortage due to climate change.
Sri Lanka is facing the heat from a scorching sun for the past one month. In recent times, the country has imposed power cuts after almost a decade. The main reason was the stoppage at a coal power plant, but engineers at the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) admit that the island’s hydro-power generation capacity is at such a critical low that without additional coal, diesel and renewable generation, the country’s full demand for power cannot be met.
Mozambique’s second largest city, Beira, is heading for climate change-induced disaster. Cyclones, floods, storm surges and the rising sea level are threatening to annihilate this important Indian Ocean coastal city; a city which is strategic for landlocked countries like Zimbabwe and Zambia.
South Africa celebrated human rights month this March with President Zuma recalling
the “heroism of our people who stood up for their rights.” However, this same month which commemorates the sacrifices of those who took part in the struggle against apartheid and those who died in the Sharpeville Massacre of 21 March 1960 was not a happy one for today’s civil society activists and organisations engaged in defending human rights. Two shocking incidents raise troubling questions for the future of civil society in the country.
Climate change is the harsh reality of today, and its impacts are undeniable for nations such as ours. Global warming is leading to unprecedented rise in sea level, and for a low lying nation like Bangladesh, that means widespread inundation. Changing weather patterns are also wreaking havoc on agricultural production which is dependent on regular patterns of rainfall, heat and cold. Frequency and intensity of droughts, floods and cyclones are on the rise. And millions of hapless victims are finding themselves in dire straits.
A three-year drought, added to massive deforestation in the past few decades, has dried up most of Nicaragua’s water sources and has led to an increasingly severe water supply crisis.
When Africa’s oldest protected marine area, Tsitsikamma -- the largest in the world, incorporating 80 km of rocky coastline, bustling with marine life, much of it endangered -- was opened as a pilot for public fishing on December 15, 2015, there was a big outcry.
On March 29, Papua New Guinea became the first country to formally submit the final version of its national climate action plan (called a “Nationally Determined Contribution,” or NDC) under the Paris Agreement
. The small Pacific nation’s plan to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 is no longer just an “intended” nationally determined contribution (INDC)
– it is now the country’s official climate plan.
Néstor Colman, 69, remembers the river overflowing its banks nine times in Bañado Sur, the poor neighourhood in the Paraguayan capital where he was born and has lived all his life. “A record,” he jokes.