Stories written by Neena Bhandari
Neena Bhandari is a Sydney-based foreign correspondent, writing for international news agencies IPS, SciDev.Net and other national and international publications. Neena first began contributing to IPS in 1991 while based in New Delhi and was the main contributor from London between 1998 and 2000. Since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, she has been reporting from Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Island countries. She started her career with India's leading national daily, The Times of India, in 1985 and she has since worked in the United Kingdom and Australia, reporting on a range of issues from health and science, environment and development, trade and travel, to gender, human rights and indigenous issues. She has a master’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s degree in law, a diploma in environmental law, and a certificate in international humanitarian law from the Red Cross. | Web

Can Preserving Goa’s Khazans Address Climate Threats?

Growing up in a khazan ecosystem, the traditional agricultural practice followed in the south-western Indian state of Goa, Elsa Fernandes would love sitting in a koddo, a woven bamboo structure for storing paddy. Her family members would pour paddy around her and with the growing pile, she would rise to the top and then jump down with joy.

‘I Haven’t Forgotten Where I Came From,’ says Yvonne Pinto, Incoming IRRI Chief

Growing up on a small farming station in Holetta (Ethiopia), Yvonne Pinto would accompany her agriculturist father to the farm, where she would spend her time cross-fertilizing plants. Her tiny fingers making the task easier, as she would marvel at the end product of a prospective new and higher yielding variety. These formative years laid the foundation for her career in agricultural science.

Growing Appetite for Nutrient-Rich Native Indigenous Australian Foods

Growing up in Sydney, Kalkani Choolburra, a Girramay, Kuku Yalanji, Kalkadoon and Pitta Pitta woman from Far North Queensland, would frequently travel with her family up and down Australia’s eastern seaboard. Her grandfathers and uncles would bring fresh catch of dugong, her favourite bush food, and she would go hunting for the short-necked turtle with her aunties and female cousins.

Pacific Island Countries To Develop Advanced Warning System for Tuna Migration

Climate change and warming ocean waters are causing tuna fisheries to migrate to international waters, away from a country’s jurisdiction, thereby putting the food and economic security of many Pacific Island countries and territories at risk.

Indian PhD Students Say Long Australian Visa Delays Have Put Their Lives On Hold

When Megha Jacob, who had been applying for a doctoral degree at various overseas universities, received an offer from the Australian National University’s Department of Chemistry to do a fully funded PhD, she was thrilled and immediately accepted the position.

How Satellite Technologies Can Aid Fiji, Other Pacific Island Nations to Build Climate Resilience

Sepesa Curuki and his community are coming to terms with the prospect of relocation from Cogea village on Fiji’s second-largest island of Vanua Levu. Their village, which lies between two rivers that flow into the Pacific Ocean only 2km away, has been battered by intense and frequent cyclones, flooding and erosion, threatening their very existence.

CommonSensing Project Builds Climate Resilience for Small Island Nations

The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP) CommonSensing is led by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) through the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT), which is working with selected partners including the Commonwealth Secretariat, to improve resilience to the effects of climate change in Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Why Pacific Island Nations, like the Federated States of Micronesia, need Climate Change Finance for Food Security Now

Robby Nena is one of the many farmers and fishermen on the frontline of climate change in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), where coastal flooding and erosion, variable and heavy rainfall, increased temperature, droughts and other extreme weather events are becoming all too common.

Why Rehabilitation is as Vital as Rescue for Child Trafficking Survivors

Twelve-year-old Babloo’s (Name changed) parents, who worked as daily wage agricultural labourers in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, were finding it difficult to feed their family of six. They had recently lost their eldest son to sudden illness, when a distant relative convinced them to send Babloo with him to work in a city. He promised to pay Rs 5000 ($70) a month, a significant amount for the impoverished family.

Why Incarceration further Disadvantages Australia’s Indigenous

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.

It was Meant to Be a Ground-breaking Year for Gender Equality but COVID-19 Widened Inequalities

Sixteen-year-old Suhana Khan had just completed her grade 10 exams in March, when India imposed a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Since then, she has been spending her mornings and evenings doing household chores, from cooking and cleaning to fetching drinking water from the tube well. 

How Senegal is Providing Reproductive Health Services to those Who can Least Afford it

Pregnant with her second child, 30-year-old Ndiabou Niang was enduring pelvic pain, but couldn’t afford to access prenatal care in Diabe Salla, a village on the outskirts of the small town of Thilogne in north-east Senegal. Her husband was unemployed and her earnings of under CFAF 10,000 (17 USD) from selling seasonal fruits in the local market were insufficient to make ends meet.

Senegalese Women’s Participation in Energy Sector equals Empowerment

Aïssata Ba, 45-year-old widow and mother of seven children, has been practising market gardening for the past 30 years in Lompoul Sur Mer village in the Niayes area of north-west Senegal. For many women in the village, endowed with fertile soil and favourable climate, it is the primary source of income throughout the year.

Forced Marriage, Organ Trafficking Rife in Asia Pacific – Part 2

A single mother, Mai (name changed) had the responsibility of providing for her young son and grandparents, who had brought her up in a poor rural province in southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. While she was looking for employment, somebody approached her on social media with an offer of a high-paying job in China. When she arrived in China, she was sold into a forced marriage.

Modern Slavery in Asia Pacific Fuelled by Widespread Poverty, Migration & Weak Governance – Part 1

Aged 17, Moe Turaga was saddled with the responsibility of providing for his mother and young siblings when a family member approached him with the promise of a job and education in Australia. Dreaming of a bright future for himself and his family, he seized the opportunity and left the protective confines of his home in Fiji, only to find himself trapped in modern slavery on a remote agriculture farm in the state of Victoria.

How Some Pacific Women are Responding to Climate Change and Natural Disasters

Sitting atop a banyan tree branch, Fiona Robyn had a cell phone tightly clasped in her fist raised high to get a signal. She was impatiently waiting for the SMS weather alert from the Women's Wetem Weta (Women’s Weather Watch (WWW)) hub in Port Vila as cyclone TC Harold raged towards the Republic of Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean on Apr. 5.

The Future Pacific Island Children Want

For 13-year-old Karen Semens, growing up on Pohnpei -- one of the four main island states in the Federated States of Micronesia, which comprises of more than 600 islands in the western Pacific Ocean -- the main challenge is being a girl. “In our culture, girls don’t have the same rights and opportunities nor do they get credit and recognition for their achievements as boys do. This prevents us from speaking our minds. For example in family meetings, only men make the decisions. I would like all girls to be treated as equals and have a say in decision making,” the 8th grade pupil from the Ohmine Public Elementary school in Pohnpei, tells IPS.


Bushfires Hasten the Death Knell of many Australian Native Animals and Plants

The chatter of cockatoos and lorikeets has given way to an eerie silence in smoke enveloped charred landscapes across south-eastern Australia. The unrelenting bushfires have driven many native animal and plant species to the brink of extinction and made several fauna more vulnerable with vast swathes of their habitat incinerated.

Australia’s Bushfires Bring Mounting Pressure to Reduce Greenhouse Gases

As nature's fury wreaked havoc across Australia, reducing to ashes all that came in its way - people, flora, fauna, picturesque historic towns and villages once popular with local and overseas tourists – it was unlike anything the country had witnessed before. The staggering scale and intensity of the devastation could best be summed up as apocalyptic.

Making a Whale of a Difference to Marine Conservation

The thrill of watching a whale up close or schools of dolphins frolicking in an ocean are much sought after experiences today, boosting the demand for tours that provide people the opportunity to see these marine animals in their natural habitats. But becoming a major tourist drawcard has also exposed cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and their environs to risks and challenges.

How Australia Sustainably Manages the World’s Last Wild Commercial Fishery of Pearl Oysters

Australia’s remote north-western Kimberley coast, where the Great Sandy Desert meets the sapphire waters of the Indian Ocean, is home to the giant Pinctada maxima or silver-lipped pearl oyster shells that produce the finest and highly-prized Australian South Sea Pearls.

Next Page »


icebreaker book