As torrential rains, cloudbursts, floods, and landslides continue to wreak colossal damage and claim lives in Himachal Pradesh, India’s Himalayan foothill provinces. The question everyone is asking is: why is this happening?
Speaking to IPS about the importance of biodiversity and nature's contributions to people, Dr Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), stressed the importance of moving from knowledge and policy silos to a more integrated approach to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially those related to food, water, health, climate change, and energy, which can only be achieved together with the two goals related to biodiversity.
One of the most hotly debated issues at the recently concluded IUCN Congress in Marseilles was about designating 30 percent of the planet's land and water surface as protected areas by 2030.
As Arti Prasad rode the Kuala Lumpur Pavilion mall escalator up to the third floor, a pair of luscious lips pouted down at her. Next to the towering and oversized lips, the vibrant red shades of lipstick on the giant screen immediately caught the 36-year-old Indian tourist’s fancy.
When 11-year-old Mitali Padhi hugged her childhood friends to say goodbye, she felt a deep-seated foreboding.
Madhuri Roy left the famous Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, Assam. She had sought the goddess’s blessings for the safe delivery of her youngest daughter's baby, which was due in a few weeks. Shanty shops lined the temple outside and Roy’s eyes fell on a stack of black rice packets. All through her daughter’s pregnancy she had craved her childhood favourite black rice pudding. But during the country’s COVID-19 lockdown Roy could not procure it even though Meghalaya, her Himalayan home state, grew it.
“Drought is on the verge of becoming the next pandemic and there is no vaccine to cure it.”
“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.
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.
Climate warming is believed to have taken place at some of the fastest rates in the world in Mongolia, raising the country's average temperatures
by 2.24°C between 1940 and 2015, with the last decade being the warmest of the past 76 years.
High up at an altitude of between 1,500 to 4,000 feet in India’s eastern Odisha state, live the Bonda people — one of this country’s most ancient tribes, who have barely altered their lifestyle in over a thousand years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new layer of challenges to inclusive education. As many as 40 percent of low and lower-middle income countries having not supported disadvantaged learners during temporary school shutdowns, finds United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
’s 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report
released today, Jun. 23.
Last June when more than half of India was reeling under daily temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius, Nursing Behera’s 11-month-old son burned both his legs when a pot of boiling water fell on him.
Ramkumar Mondal’s farm is awash in a brilliant yellow mustard bloom. A flock of grey cranes peck for food amidst the shallow watergrass. But Mondal’s fishpond digs in there like a do-or-die last sentinel as nearby high-rise buildings, a symbol of development and encroachment, menacingly tower over the fishpond, permanently blocking the eastern sun so essential for the pondwater to convert sewage into fish-feed.
Dogged by intractable air pollution debilitating large northern swathes from mainly urban vehicle emissions, India earlier this year announced targets for a 40 percent non-fossil component in its fuel-mix by 2030 as part of its Nationally Determined Commitments (NDC) to the Paris accord on climate change. It aims for full electrification of public transit systems and of one-third private vehicles by 2030.
The sun has barely risen when Phlida Kharshala shakes her 8-year-old grandson awake. He hoists an empty cone-shaped bamboo basket on his back, sets the woven strap flat across his forehead and off they go into the wilderness.
“The Perfect Storm” was a dire prediction that by 2030 food shortages, scarce water and insufficient energy resources together with climate change would threaten to unleash public unrest, cross-border conflicts and mass migration from worst-affected regions.
Today just over two billion people live without readily available, safe water supplies at home. And more than half the world’s population, roughly 4.3 billion people, live in areas where demand for water resources outstrips sustainable supplies for at least part of the year.
Growing economies are thirsty economies. And water scarcity has become “the new normal” in many parts of the world, according to Torgny Holmgren executive director of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
As governments scramble for corrective options to the worsening land degradation set to cost the global economy a whopping 23 trillion dollars within the next 30 years, a humble grass species, the bamboo, is emerging as the unlikely hero.