Climate Change

Maritime Security in Asia-Pacific Region Under Threat

Maritime security in Asia Pacific is often viewed through a traditional security lens, where the main responsibility falls on maritime law enforcement agencies to protect maritime borders and territorial sovereignty.

Nepal’s Glacial Lakes in Danger of Bursting

A new report out this week warns that hundreds of glacial lakes in the Himalaya are in danger of bursting because global heating is melting the ice on the world’s highest mountains. However, on only two of them have there been mitigation measures to reduce water levels.

Mapping Nature to Create a Global Biodiversity Framework

The year 2020 was considered a “Super Year” for biodiversity. A string of interconnected events offered a unique opportunity to build a global coalition and international policy framework that recognized the central role of nature to all life on Earth.

UN’s First-Ever Food Systems Summit to Fight Impending Emergency

Food systems involve all the stages that lead up to the point when we consume food, including the way it is produced, transported, and sold. Launching a policy brief on food security in June, UN chief António Guterres warned of an “impending food emergency”, unless immediate action is taken.

US Poll Predictions and Presidential Politics in the American Polity

The US residential polls are akin to a drama that is staged every four years in which the American are actors on stage and the rest of the world is the audience. With one major difference, however. While in a usual theatrical performance the viewers are there mostly for amusement, though some may be enlightened and enriched by the experience, in the case of the US elections, unlike in others, their fates are inextricably linked to the outcome of the play. This is not predetermined by any playwright, though it can often be predicted. It is not implausible therefore for some on-lookers to want to intervene in what’s happening onstage. It must be done discreetly, and with great circumspection. Take for instance, the Russians in the American elections in 2016. The Russians and President Donald Trump hotly dispute allegations of any such interference.

“Hidden” Costs of Our Food Systems

Five years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda we are far from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to the recently launched SOFI Report (The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020), we are not on track to eradicate poverty, hunger and malnutrition. On the contrary, with the current trends, the global number of undernourished people in 2030 would exceed 840 million. Moreover, WHO has reported alarming rates of overweight and obesity, globally affecting 39% and 13% of the adult population, respectively.

Fridays for Future: How the Young Climate Movement Has Grown Since Greta Thunberg’s Lone Protest

At the end of her first week on strike in August 2018, Greta Thunberg handed out flyers that said: “You grownups don’t give a shit about my future.” Her appearance at the 2019 UN Climate Summit capped a year in the spotlight for the teenage climate activist. Delegates at the summit gave her a standing ovation, but the sound of their applause couldn’t mask Greta Thunberg’s deep frustration.

It is Time for a Democratic Global Revolution

The people of the world need to seize the moment and bring about a democratic global revolution. It is time for a global parliament and real representation. More than 21 million people got infected with the novel coronavirus and over 770,000 have died. Never before did the world witness similar collective lockdowns of social and economic activity that had to be enforced to contain the pandemic.

Amazon ‘Women Warriors’ Show Gender Equality, Forest Conservation Go Hand in Hand

On an early December morning last year in the state of Maranhão, Brazil, half a dozen members of the Indigenous Guajajara people packed their bags with food, maps and drone equipment to get ready for a patrol. They said goodbye to their children, uncertain when, or whether, they would see them again. Then, they hoisted their bags over their shoulders and set out to patrol a section of the 173,000 hectares (428,000 acres) of the primary rainforest they call home.

What Will It Take to Prioritise Climate Change?

India ranks third in terms of absolute levels of carbon emissions after China and the United States. In a business as usual scenario, by 2030, emission levels are predicted to reach more than 4.4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (GTCO2) equivalent of greenhouse gas—up from 3 GTCO2 today—overtaking the United States as the second-largest emitting country.

Fueling Pacific Economic Engines with Open Data in Times of Covid-19

Throughout my career, I have always championed the value of open data, especially geospatial and earth observation data for the social, environmental and economic growth that it brings. Access to timely and accurate data is critical to maximizing the efficiency of development programmes and is a critical economic as well as scientific imperative for our region.

Crisis Management 101: Treating the Climate Crisis Like a Pandemic

On 23 February 2020, the South Korean government raised the national Crisis Alert Level to the highest tier in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, we have witnessed what our society is capable of when faced with a crisis.

Reflections on the Charter of the United Nations on its 75th Anniversary

This year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, written and signed during a period of great global change. Today, the world is again shifting beneath our feet. Yet, the Charter remains a firm foundation for our joint efforts.

Research Provides the Bricks and Mortar for Our Food Systems to ‘Build Back Better’

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the structural weaknesses of today’s food systems, showing how quickly global networks of food production, trade and supply can waver under the impact of a single disease.

‘One CGIAR’ with Two Tiers of Influence? The Case for a Real Restructuring of Global Ag-Research Centres

While the ‘CGIAR System’ may sound like a technocratic body, few organizations have exerted as much influence on today’s food systems as this network of global agricultural research centres. Since its inception at the height of the ‘Green Revolution’ in 1971, the CGIAR has driven advances in crop breeding and agricultural mechanization and modernization across multiple continents. Its mission – to develop knowledge and innovation for agriculture in the global South – is as relevant today as ever, in light of climate change, COVID-19 and a host of additional challenges.

The World Needs You. Now.

“We may all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now,” Martin Luther King Jr once said. His timeless wisdom rings truer than ever today for the many challenges the world is facing. COVID-19, continued armed conflicts and forced displacement, climate-change induced disasters, deep divides and widespread discrimination mark the human family in the 21st century.

Putting Young People at the Heart of Their Climate Plans

The NDC Partnership is a global initiative to accelerate climate and development action -- ensuring countries have the support and tools they need to achieve ambitious climate and sustainable development targets as fast and effectively as possible.

Electrification of Transport: A Challenge for Urbanised Latin America

Electric transport, still limited in Latin America despite its urban benefits, could expand during the post-pandemic economic recovery, says Adalberto Maluf, president of the Brazilian Association of Electric Vehicles (ABVE).

Building Back Greener in Africa

COVID-19 continues to race across the African continent. People are dying, and even more are being pushed into hunger and poverty, in many cases risking to overturn years of development gains.

Innovative Financial Approaches Key to Unleash SIDS Economic Potential

Our world is transfixed by the great human toll and economic impact of the worst global pandemic in a century. For the 65 million inhabitants of small island developing states (SIDS), the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is reminiscent of the worst forms of extreme weather events that SIDS contend with annually. Such events cost lives, undermine our hard-earned development gains, and hamper the aspirations and quality of life of our people. Our governments are routinely compelled to shift already scarce resources from social and economic investments to recovery and sustenance in the aftermath of disasters. For decades islands have been treading a development tightrope, which is increasingly precarious with the intensification of adverse climate impacts.

Put Climate at the Heart of COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plans

Cast your mind back. Six months ago—it seems like a lifetime—the world’s attention was on Madrid. The United Nations was meeting to take stock of international progress in fighting climate change. Headlines were dominated by young people pointing out—rightly—that governments were still not doing enough. They demanded urgent and ambitious action to cut emissions and help the most vulnerable.

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