The question of Western Sahara, known as Africa’s last colony, has recently gained great visibility in international media interestingly due to two drastic developments.
With the construction of aqueducts, water purification and desalination plants, and investments to upgrade hydraulic infrastructure, Cuba is seeking to manage the impacts of droughts and floods that are intensifying with climate change.
Some of you may remember Sophia, the talking robot.
In 2017 and 2018 she toured UN meetings and TV studios, wowing audiences with her thoughts on the future of technology and seemingly engaging in conversations with UN deputy chief, Amina Mohammed and British broadcaster, Piers Morgan.
Its time for the world to radically change our ways if we are to make peace with the planet and create the environmental conditions so that all of humanity can thrive, delegates attending the Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) heard this morning.
The forest is the main resource in the Chaco, a vast plain shared by Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. And how to use it sustainably is the most difficult question. Two recently inaugurated power plants fired by forest biomass provide a possible answer, although they are not free of controversy.
“Our war on nature has left the planet broken. This is senseless and suicidal. The consequences of our recklessness are already apparent in human suffering, towering economic losses and the accelerating erosion of life on Earth,” António Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations said.
While Pacific Island countries have, so far, been spared a catastrophic spread of COVID-19, their economies have been devastated by the effects of border closures, internal lockdowns and the demise of international tourism and trade. With the global pandemic far from over, Pacific Islanders are looking to their local and regional economies to drive resilience and recovery.
The United Nations is an institution mired in politics focusing primarily on military conflicts, civil wars, economic sanctions, peacekeeping, plus sustainable economic development.
Myanmar’s top generals have begun the process to prevent Aung San Suu Kyi – the country’s popular civilian leader – from ever holding political power. Both she and president Win Myint were arraigned in a closed-door court session via video link Tuesday, Feb. 16. This is the beginning of a trial that is expected to take about six months to conclude. If convicted, it will prevent Suu Kyi from standing in future elections.
On Sunday morning, Feb. 7, as most of the working-class in India’s Himalayan State of Uttarakhand went about their chores, the glacier-fed Rishi Ganga river started rising. Two hours later, swollen with rock debris and snowmelt, its waters rose 53 feet — the height equivalent of a five-storey building.
Keenan Mundine grew up in the Aboriginal community social housing called The Block
, infamous for poor living conditions, alcohol and drug use, and violence, in Sydney’s Redfern suburb. At the age of about seven, soon after losing his parents to drugs and suicide, he was separated from his siblings and placed in kinship care.
Last October, an ICRC medical team helped a woman deliver a baby boy in the bush on their way to a health center we support in Grévaï, a small town in the north-central region of CAR. On her way to the market, by foot, the woman went into labour and only by chance did not have to go through it alone, surviving along with her baby.
Myanmar is in a deep political crisis. Over the past week -- reminiscent of the pro-democracy demonstrations of 1988 -- Myanmar’s citizens are openly and publicly challenging the country’s powerful military, whose coup earlier this month now threatens to stifle the country’s fledgling democracy.
Yangon resident Ni Ni Aye walked to her office yesterday morning. A couple of hours before, the army had staged a coup by seizing power and declaring a state of emergency in Myanmar. Ni Aye, an employee of one of Yangon’s largest technology firms, tried to call her colleagues and family, but phone services were down. So, she decided to walk to the office and see what was happening.
“There were no armoured vehicles or soldiers with heavy weapons, yet everything was extremely quiet. It was very confusing; nobody had a clue on what is really happening. Then we realised, the action is all happening in the capital,” Ni Aye told IPS.
For the staff of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 2021 is likely to be even more difficult than 2020, with job cuts, forced departures, transfers to Istanbul or The Hague, restructuring and too many rumours.
Mexico is seeking to mitigate water shortages in part of its extensive territory by resorting to seawater, through the expansion of desalination plants. But this solution has exorbitant costs and significant environmental impacts.
Lilibeth Evarestus of Lagos, Nigeria doesn’t like the concept of handouts — she is against the idea of thinking of leprosy-affected people as weak.
Yet, for several months now, Evarastus – a human rights lawyer and founder of community welfare organisation, Purple Hope Foundation – has been spending a lot of time on the road, distributing food items and hygiene products among the leprosy-affected people in her community.
Over 100,000 concerned petitioners
have urged the Namibian government to scrap its plan to auction off 170 wild elephants -- which include rare desert-adapted elephants -- but the country’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism said this week that today’s Jan. 29 sale will go on as planned.
Most beginnings are rocky and sometimes the obstacles seem insurmountable, before they are finally overcome. This was certainly the case for the Finca Marta, a farm in Cuba that had to begin by digging a well in search of water and with the hard-scrabble work of clearing an arid, stony and overgrown plot of land.
As Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos, reportedly experienced a massive shortage
of oxygen cylinders last week — with demand increasing fivefold in one of the city’s main hospitals just as the country recorded some of its highest number of coronavirus cases — its youth leaders are concerned about the impact on vulnerable women.
“This road is my home now and it will decide my future,” Sukhvinder Singh, a 27-year old farmer from the Moga district of Punjab, tells IPS. Last November, weeks after the government of India passed three farm bills he felt were anti-farmer, Singh travelled to Singhu, a village near Delhi, to demand the laws be repealed. Since then, he has been living in a tent he shares with five other fellow farmer-protesters.