Stories written by Paul Virgo

Bringing Drought and Floods, El Niño Hits the Most Fragile in Southern Africa

Kaponde Likando does not know how his family will survive until the next farming season. “We are not going to have anything (to harvest),” said the 60-year-old from Chingobe village in southern Zambia after his maize, sorghum, groundnut and sweet potato crops failed. “This has been the very opposite of what we expected.”

Seeking Justice for the Civilian Victims of the Syrian Civil War

When the Syrian Army launched its offensive against the stronghold of rebel FSA (Free Syrian Army) in Homs in February 2012, the safety of civilians was not a factor.

Parents Harness Pedal and Wind Power To Demand Climate Action

Extreme sports are not just for young people. Climate activism isn’t either. Yamandù Pagliano is proof.

Saudi Arabia Accused of ‘Sportswashing’ Its Human-Rights Record

Argentina forward Lautaro Martinez scores as Inter Milan beat Napoli in the Saudi capital Riyadh to win the Italian Super Cup for the third consecutive time.

Shock Femicide Forces Italy To Face Its Problem With Gender-Based Violence

Giulia Cecchettin had a bright future ahead of her. A smart 22-year-old, she was days away from graduating in biomedical engineering at Padua University. She was a loving sister to her two siblings, helping her father cope after the premature passing of her mother due to cancer in October 2022. Her sweetness and generosity of spirit made her popular with her peers. She only had one problem. Her ex-boyfriend and course mate Filippo Turetta could not accept the end of their relationship.

Tackling Agrifood Inequality Can Boost the Bottom Line

Objections to progressive policies are often based on cost. It would be great to have a fairer, more sustainable world, the argument goes, but where will the money come from to pay for it?

Fighting Malnutrition and Changing Mindsets in Rwanda

Of the many things one might associate with a modern teenager, passion for wholegrain food is probably not the first that comes to mind. An innovative school-meals project in Rwanda, however, has young people singing its praises.

Soaring Food Prices Leading To Obesity as Well as Hunger

The climate, conflict and economic shocks of recent years and their impact on food prices have landed a huge blow to the world’s hopes of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of eliminating global hunger by 2030.

Celebrity Chefs Enlisted to Put Climate-Hardy Millets Back on the Menu

Get yourself a nice big pot full of water, dice some onions and throw in the meat of your fancy, followed by chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, dried okra powder, garden eggs and chilli peppers.

Food Beyond the Reach for Millions in Horn of Africa

Four months pregnant, Ayan was close to dying of starvation when she arrived at the Kabasa camp in Dolow, on the border between Somalia and Ethiopia.

Acute Hunger an ‘Immediate Threat’ To Over a Quarter of a Billion People

While King Charles III’s coronation in Britain was hogging much of the international media’s attention at the start of this month, it was easy not to notice another story that deserved at least as many headlines.

International Cooperation Starts Early in South Korea

When pupils from the Chadwick International School went on an exchange trip to their math teacher’s homeland the Philippines they were faced with a mystery. The kids from their twin school were warm, friendly and fun hosts.

Livelihoods of Almost Half the World’s Population Depend on Agrifood Systems

New research by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has revealed that almost half the world’s population of around eight billion people belong to households whose livelihoods depend to some degree on agrifood systems (AFS).

Crisis? What Crisis? Media Failing to Convey the Urgency of the Climate Emergency

If an alien landed on Planet Earth today and started watching television and reading the newspapers, it would probably not realize that humanity and the natural world face an existential threat - one that has taken us into the Sixth Mass Extinction, is already devastating the lives of many, especially in the Global South, and is set to hit the rest of us soon.

The Case For Criminalizing Ecocide

Genocide, war crimes, aggression, ecocide, crimes against humanity – which is the odd one out? The right answer is ecocide - destroying, polluting or damaging the natural living world on a large scale is not among the crimes that can be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

As the Climate Crisis Bites, Soil Needs Doctors Too

In a wiser world, the term ‘treating someone like dirt’ would be a good thing. After all, 15 of the 18 nutrients essential to plants are supplied by soils and around 95% of the food we eat comes directly or indirectly from them, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). So dirt is actually a precious resource that deserves to be treated with respect, care and perhaps even a little love.

Europe’s Dash for Gas Presents Pitfalls for Africa

One of the knock-on effects of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine is that European countries have embarked on a ‘dash for gas’ to find alternatives to Russian energy supplies.

Leaders Told To Put ‘Kids First’ at COP27

Lea is a three-year-old from Mexico who loves ladybirds. Siddhiksha, a six-year-old from India, has a passion for trees and wild animals. Rachelle is a 12-year-old Tanzanian who is wise beyond her years. They are smart and adorable and they are among the stars of a short film that is aiming to remind the leaders taking part in the COP27 UN Climate Conference that they have a duty of care towards young and future generations.

Campaign for a Fossil Fuels Non-proliferation Treaty Gathers Steam

When it comes to moral endorsements, having the Vatican’s backing takes some beating. So the international campaign for a legally binding Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty took a huge step forward in July when Cardinal Michael Czerny, the prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, gave it his total support.

Farm-Kids-Turned-Scientists Give Back on the Climate-Crisis Front Line

Dr Alice Karanja knows from personal experience the tough choices the climate crisis is putting people before in the Global South. Choices such as whether to have a healthy diet or give your children an education. Choices such as whether to go hungry or allow your children to have any schooling at all.

Civil Disobedience – How to Make Enemies and Influence People

Blocking metros and highways in rush-hour traffic to stop commuters getting to work. Vandalizing petrol pumps to put them out of use. Halting sporting events such as the French Open and the British Grand Prix. Disrupting bemused art lovers by gluing oneself to priceless masterpieces.

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