Stories written by Enrique Gili

Ailing Tuna Fisheries Hit Hard by Poachers

Miles away from the briny business of tuna harvesting, delegates from around the world gathered in San Diego, California for three days in mid-July to discuss the future of the fishing industry.

Warming Hits Food Chain at the Bottom of the World

Wildebeests have the Serengeti, and tiny krill the sea ice. But in the upside-down world of the Antarctic Peninsula, one of the biggest shows on earth would pass unheeded except for the work of a band of polar scientists seeking clues to what changes in temperatures and sea ice levels mean to wildlife.

A mobile e-waste recycling station. Credit: Courtesy of ecoATM

US: EcoATMs Swap E-waste for Cash

It's hardly news that the U.S. love affair with electronic gadgets has a dark side. The global toll on natural resources and the potential health and environmental hazards are staggering.

Sunflowers are "wildly attractive to bees", explains biologist Gretchen Lebuhn.  Credit: Enrique Gili/IPS

Citizen Scientists on the Trail of Disappearing Bees

It's the world's worst-kept secret: bees are in a state of crisis. One of nature's most benign pollinators is dying in record numbers, much to the alarm of beekeepers and gardeners.

Walt Staton, a volunteer with No More Deaths, was convicted in 2009 for "knowingly littering" a national refuge by leaving water for border crossers. Credit: Nick Oza/IPS

MIGRATION: Lost in the Desert? There’s an App for That

Over the past two decades, Ricardo Dominguez has made a career for himself tweaking the sensibilities of government officials and developing software tools meant to disrupt the status quo.

Poster from Conversations with the Earth - Indigenous Voices on Climate Change multi-media exhibit in Copenhagen.  Credit: Stephen Leahy/TerraViva

CLIMATE CHANGE: Bringing the Rainforest to Copenhagen

As delegates deliberate over the extent carbon emissions will be curbed in the closing days of the U.N. summit here, the environmental ramifications of that agreement are likely to be felt in places far removed from the negotiating table, particularly among indigenous people on the front lines of climate change.

Indigenous leader Angélica Sarzuri from the Bolivian highlands speaks at Climate Bottom.  Credit: Matthew McDermott

CLIMATE CHANGE: No Closed Doors at Parallel Summit

Two blocks from the Metro station on the busy M-1 Line, the first indication that pedestrians are slipping into the space-time continuum known as the "Free City" is the ubiquitous graffiti and occasional "boom!" of small explosive devices like M-80s echoing through the cobbled streets.

Algae wallops its biofuel rivals, yielding 50 to 70 times more gallons of fuel per acre than corn ethanol. Credit: Jonathan Eng/IPS

ENERGY: Clean, Green Goo to Power Engines

Stephen Mayfield, the recently appointed director of the University of California at San Diego's Algae Biotechnology lab, is taking on a Texas-sized challenge - giving birth to a nascent alternative energy industry.

ENVIRONMENT-US: Urban Farms Take Root

Juxtapose the word urban in front of farm and there’s bound to be a lot of head scratching. But in cities around the U.S. small-scale farms and garden plots are coming to life in unlikely places. Abandoned city lots, and neglected yards are being converted into vegetable gardens - as basic food literacy becomes part of the vocabulary of city dwellers.

Zach Plopper confers with Wildcoast's wildlands conservation programme manager Saul Alarcon Farfan over plotting points of interest on their tablet PC. Credit: Jonathan Eng/IPS

ENVIRONMENT: When Conservation Bumps Up Against Conflict

Driving through Tijuana and long stretches of northern Baja, conservationist Zach Plopper loves his job but hates the commute.

Diego Luna (left) and Gael Garcia Bernal in "Rudo y Cursi". Credit: Courtesy of the San Diego Latino Film Festival

FILM-US: Latino Fest in the Fray of Pop Culture’s Lucha Libre

The San Diego Latino Film Festival is perhaps the biggest little film festival most people outside of Southern California have never heard of.

T-shirt designer Eric Bidwell fights the power. Credit: Enrique Gili/IPS

TECHNOLOGY: Fab Labs Channel Your Inner Scientist

Inside the confines of a modest 275-square-metre office space in this southern California city, the human imagination is running wild.

U.S.-MEXICO: Fence to Carve Up Fragile Border Preserve

Another chapter in U.S.-Mexico border relations is about to close. In the waning days of the George W. Bush administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is completing construction of a 22-kilometre triple fence along the San Diego-Tijuana border.

Catherine Ryan Credit:

Q&A: “How Does Killing Impact Individual Soldiers?”

In their latest documentary "Soldiers of Conscience", husband and wife filmmakers Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg probe the nature of war and the human condition, asking the question: when is killing in combat permissible?

FINANCE-US: Helping People One Paycheque From Disaster

A decade ago, few could envision that making a charitable donation would be as simple as a mouse click.

Giacomo Castagnola's sustainable designs use egg crates and recycled paper.  Credit: Enrique Gili/IPS

ENVIRONMENT: Conservation as Artists' Muse

Pulled-together socialites and not-so-sloppy artists recently gathered for an atypical art exhibition in San Diego that combines art with wilderness conservation, using contemporary art to investigate vanishing worlds and the people that inhabit them.

Democratic supporter Jack Robertson stands next to a cardboard cutout of Barack Obama at Comic Con. Credit: Enrique Gili/IPS

POLITICS-US: My Big, Fat Geek Voter Drive

Few events elicit the passion evident at the International Comic Con convention, as fanboys and gals descended upon San Diego over the weekend, braving long lines to marvel at the latest creations of their long-standing heroes.

DEVELOPMENT: Tourism's New Wave

David Aabo is en route from Peru to New York City after having spent much of the last few years in the South American country investigating opportunities for development that might help local entrepreneurs build a sustainable regional economy.

Volunteers Aritz Aduriz and Igor Gabilondo dispose of an old tire. Credit: Alfonso Lopez

US/MEXICO: Neighbours Try to Reclaim Polluted Valley

A sinuous coil of murky water winds through the Tijuana River Valley. On each side of the U.S.-Mexican border, residents eye each other warily, caught in the cross-currents of political intrigue and economic polices that make the floodplain seem almost orderly by comparison.

A hanging wall garden in Havana, Cuba, where residents grow much of their own produce. Credit: Zorilla

DEVELOPMENT: Food for Thought on Earth Day

As Earth Day celebrations kicked off around the world last weekend, the event has evolved from teach-ins on park lawns into a multi-day media extravaganza replete with corporate sponsorship.

492-watt solar array being installed on a barn in California. Credit: wdr3

CHALLENGES 2007-2008: The Green House Effect

Environmentally-friendly buildings have evolved from hippy habitats to office towers and shopping centres, becoming a far more commonplace presence in city skylines and communities throughout the United States, as well as overseas.

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