Humankind since almost the time that there is recorded history has grappled with the question of ‘how many is too many?’ The response is expectedly complex as it varies across time and space. The pace of population growth was slow till about approximately 250 years or so. It is only since the middle of the eighteenth century that there has been a palpable acceleration in population growth.
Ankita Gupta, a housewife from south Delhi, is anxious about whether she should send her 4-year-old daughter to kindergarten. Outside visibility is poor as smog
— a combination of emissions from factories, vehicle exhausts, coal plants and chemicals reacting with sunlight — has settled over the city, surpassing dangerous levels.
Mottled and reddish, the Lake Oku puddle frog has made its tragic debut on the Red List
, a rapidly expanding roll call of threatened species. It was once abundant in the Kilum-Ijim rainforest of Cameroon but has not been seen since 2010 and is now listed as critically endangered and possibly extinct.
Ending the practice of defecating in the open, rather than in a toilet, will have “transformational benefits” for some of the world’s most vulnerable people, says the UN’s partner sanitation body, the WSSCC (Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council).
In just under a month, countries around the world will gather for UNFCCC COP 25
. The hashtag for this year’s “Blue COP” is yet another reminder to us all that it is “Time For Action”. We can no longer afford to wait as the effects of the climate crisis become ever more present. Vulnerable populations, whether from Small Island States, the rural heartland or the world’s megacities, are becoming ever more vulnerable, and the wellbeing of people and planet continues to face its most existential threat.
On November 6, Los Angeles became the first major city in the United States to earn the designation of “Blue Community” – a bold move that will keep water protected from privatization.
Pulses are highly nutritious and their consumption is associated with many health benefits. They are rich in proteins and minerals, high in fibre and have a low fat content. Pulses are produced by plants of the Leguminosae
family. These plants have root nodules that absorb inert nitrogen from soil air and convert it into biologically useful ammonia, a process referred to as biological nitrogen fixation. Consequently, the pulse crops do not need any additional nitrogen as fertilizer and help reduce the requirement of fossil fuel-based chemical nitrogen fertilization for other crops. Expansion of pulse production, therefore, can play a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change.
When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a global appeal for “zero hunger” on World Food Day last month, he provided some grim statistics rich in irony: more than 820 million people do not have enough to eat, he said, while two billion people are overweight or obese.
In Argentina's Puna region, at 4,000 metres above sea level, the color green is rare in the arid landscape, which is dominated by different shades of brown and yellow. In this inhospitable environment, daily life has improved thanks to a system of piping water downhill from rock glaciers to local communities.
Water underpins the global economy and agriculture is by far the world’s largest water consumer, accounting for 70% of freshwater withdrawals
. Global water demands are projected to increase by 55% by 2050
and climate change will present further pressures on water accessibility.
The water resources in Central Asia’s Aral Sea Basin support the lives and livelihoods of about 70 million people — a population greater than Thailand, France, or South Africa.
On a warm Saturday morning in late October, the silver-green leaves of the 200 productive olive trees on a rolling country property in Umbria, in central Italy, sparkled in the brilliant sun. Fausto Venturi, a local farmer who devotes autumn weekends to making olive oil, could not have been happier.
Ibrahim Harouna and his neighbours sit under a tree at his uncle’s house, playing chess and chatting amid the simmering heat of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.
Global temperatures are set to rise by a catastrophic 3°C by the end of the century unless we take major action. The next 10 years in particular are crucial.
Once considered rare in their occurrence, in the last 10 years tsunamis have struck nearly every year: from Samoa to Chile, and from Iceland to New Zealand.
We are facing tense and turbulent times around the globe. Rising inequality is a danger everywhere. Trade and technology tensions are building. Growth forecasts are being revised down. Unease and uncertainty are going up. This is a global phenomenon. No region is immune.
The last time Siyabulela Sokomani ran a marathon he did so with a tree strapped to his back. A native wild olive sapling to be exact. It affected his race time for sure, with the seasoned runner completing the 42.2 km race in 4.42 hours rather than his usual 3.37 hours.
The UN Climate Action Summit
2019, which took place in the days leading up to the 74th UN General Assembly, delivered new pathways and practical actions for governments and private sector to intensify climate action.
Barely a week passes without alarming news of the most recent scientific research into the global climate crisis compounding a growing sense of urgency, particularly the impact on small island states from rising sea levels and extreme weather.
Over half of the world’s population now live in cities, with numbers expected to double by 2050, but while urbanization poses serious challenges, cities can also be powerhouses for sustainable development; something the UN is spotlighting on World Cities Day
, marked 31 October.