Seaweed Cultivation Ushers Waves of Change in the Sundarbans

In Bengal's mangrove forests, the effects of climate change are forcing men to leave their families in search of work. But now, seaweed farming is offering the women left behind financial stability and empowerment.

Women Suffer Psychological Problems After Living Under Taliban

“My two sons were killed by Taliban militants mercilessly three years ago. My husband died a natural death two year back. Now, I am begging to raise my two grandsons,” Gul Pari, 50, told IPS.

Climate Refugees and a Collapsing City

With multiplying impacts of climate change - increasing floods, cyclones, and drought - thousands of climate refugees are migrating to Dhaka. And the city, well beyond its carrying capacity, is bursting at the seams.

“Jasmine Revolution” Challenges Male Domination of Tea Trade Unions

Until September this year, Lissie Sunny was not a name known to the Indian public. All of this changed when this lean and dark woman, working for over a quarter century plucking tea leaves in the misty mountain slopes of southern India finally had enough and took on one of the most powerful tea companies in the world.

Drinking Water Shortages Plague Pakistan Region

“We have to purchase water from the municipalities for our daily use. The water column has gone too deep and it is hard to pump out the commodity,” said Muhammad Shakir, a resident of Hayatabad, an upscale town in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

One-Third of Papua New Guineans Suffering Drought Crisis

An estimated one-third of the population of Papua New Guinea, the most populous Pacific Island state, is now suffering in from the country’s worst drought this century and experts predict El Nino’s influence will carry on through March 2016.

Acute Malnutrition: A Community Fights Back

In the semi-darkness of her hut in Berdaballa, a forest village 610 km northeast of Mumbai, 28-year old Babita Mavaskar sat with her newborn baby boy watching him checked by a paramedic in an important antenatal exam. After about 20 minutes the health worker emerged from the shelter and made a big announcement, “All is well. Everything, the weight, temperature and height … is normal.”

From Bangladesh to Bihar

Times are a-changing for Bihar, a state popularly described as a state of mind. The recent elections have brought back Nitish Kumar as the chief minister for the fifth time. Since his first innings as a developmental CM from 2005, he has transformed Bihar from being an archetype of India’s backwardness to one of its fastest growing states. Besides improving governance, he has also politically empowered women in that benighted state. Not surprisingly, the women’s vote was decisive for his electoral success. He now has the historic opportunity to shift gears towards sustainable gender-based development.

El Nino Creates Topsy Turvy Weather in Sri Lanka

Residents in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo and outlying areas have been waking up to misty mornings of late. A decade ago, regular mist in this area just above the equator would have been a noteworthy event. These days, it is a regular occurrence in some parts north of the capital.

Frequent Floods Intensify Migration, Food Security in Pakistan’s Mountainous North

Ishaq Khan shivers as he recounts an unfortunate flash flood in 2010, which covered his maize and potato crop with mud and washed away over a dozen fruit trees he planted 45 years ago.

Kurdish Highlanders Fear the Sky

You can find those popular Turkish chocolate and orange biscuits, and there are also shovels for the coming winter snow. There’s also no shortage of those popular watches boasting the face of Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Interview: “‘We’re Not Independent Enough,” says ASEAN Rights Commission Chair

(IPS Asia-Pacific) – Although it is six years old, few know what the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) does. It has been called toothless, though its creation was seen as a step forward given the principle of non-interference in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Nepal Appeals to U.N. to Help Lift Economic Blockade

A coalition of independent Nepali citizens – including diplomats, journalists, women’s rights leaders, medical doctors and former U.N. officials – is calling on the international community and the United Nations to take “effective steps” to help remove an “economic blockade” imposed on Nepal.

Haunted and Depressed: The Struggle of Orphans in Kashmir

In a congested classroom, 13-year-old Sahil Majeed is trying to copy on his note book what his teacher is writing on a white board with black marker pen.

Southeast Asia: How to Make Good Business Out of Doing Good

When his father drove back to pay the 47 Malaysian cents they owed to the food stall they had just left, then nine-year-old Anis Yusal Yusoff, today president and chief executive officer of the Malaysian Institute of Integrity, learned the meaning of standing firm by one’s values.

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