Water & Sanitation

Efficient Water Management in Central Asia

In Tajikistan and other countries of Central Asia, local water user associations have proved vital for efficient irrigation management, and reasonably prolonged training is the key for enabling the associations to perform well.

Gaza Health Sector on Verge of Collapse

UN agencies have sounded the alarm on the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza, pointing to the devastating repercussions of the ongoing fuel shortages.

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.

PPPs Likely to Undermine Public Health Commitments

The United Nations Agenda 2030 for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is being touted in financial circles as offering huge investment opportunities requiring trillions of dollars. In 67 low- and middle-income countries, achieving SDG 3 — healthy lives and well-being for all, at all ages — is estimated to require new investments increasing over time, from an initial $134 billion annually to $371 billion yearly by 2030, according to recent estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) reported in The Lancet.

40% of India’s Thermal Power Plants in Water-Scarce Areas, Threatening Shutdowns

New WRI research finds that 40 percent of the country’s thermal power plants are located in areas facing high water stress, a problem since these plants use water for cooling. Scarce water is already hampering electricity generation in these regions—14 of India’s 20 largest thermal utilities experienced at least one shutdown due to water shortages between 2013-2016, costing the companies $1.4 billion.

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.

Central America Hashes Out Agenda for Sustainable Use of Water

The countries of Central America are striving to define a plan to promote the sustainable use of water, a crucial need in a region that is already suffering the impacts of climate change.

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.

Water, Water Everywhere, Costs More Than You Might Think

Without reliable access to water, human beings cannot survive. Yet 3 out of 10 people do not have a safely managed water supply, and 6 out of 10 lack safely managed sanitation. Over 2 billion people drank water that was fecally contaminated in 2015, and the World Bank estimates that the annual cost of poor sanitation is in excess of $260 billion annually.

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.

Empowering Women Improves Communities, Ensures Success for Generations

At an event held on October 29 at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Gender Awards 2017, five countries were honored for impressive achievements in gender equality and women’s empowerment despite harsh conditions and numerous daunting situational and societal obstacles. The five countries are Bangladesh, Mozambique, Colombia, Morocco, and Mauritania. The IFAD supported projects in these countries have ambitious goals for a more egalitarian future. To date these projects have successfully provided women with decision-making opportunities, skill training, and increased autonomy through the development of their own livelihoods.

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.

“Ambition & Action” Needed to End Open Defecation

What would life be like without access to a toilet? What if our waste was not properly disposed of?

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.

Decent Toilets for Women & Girls Vital for Gender Equality

This weekend marks World Toilet Day (November 19)-- and the news is disheartening. One in three people are still waiting for a toilet; still having to face the indignity and often fear of relieving themselves in the open or using unsafe or unhygienic toilets.

Girls in Afghanistan—and Everywhere Else—Need Toilets

"I never come here, just because of boys," Atifa says, pointing at the door of the stall. "They're opening the door." Atifa, a sixth grader in Kabul, Afghanistan, attends a school of 650 girls. Since they study in tents in a vacant lot, the only toilets the girls have access to are on the far side of the boys' school next door. The school is one of a very few for girls in the area, so some students walk over an hour each way to get there.

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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