Natural Resources

Protecting Plants Will Protect People and the Planet

Back-to-back droughts followed by plagues of locusts have pushed over a million people in southern Madagascar to the brink of starvation in recent months. In the worst famine in half a century, villagers have sold their possessions and are eating the locusts, raw cactus fruits, and wild leaves to survive.

Why is the UK Government Turning off the Tap During a Global Pandemic?

The UK government’s decision to reduce its Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget from 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to 0.5% -- a cut of around £4 billion this year -- was confirmed last week by a majority of 35 votes in a House of Commons vote.

Cleantech Entrepreneurs Driving a Green Recovery in Barbados

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eastern Caribbean island nation, famed for its beautiful landscapes, pristine white-sand beaches and temperate climate, attracted around a million tourists each year.

Caribbean aims to Turn Foul-smelling, Enviro Problem Sargassum Seaweed into High-Value Products

A regular visitor to the islands of the Caribbean has become a dreaded nuisance over the past ten years. The sargassum seaweed that typically washes ashore now arrives each year in overwhelming, extraordinary amounts for reasons that are not entirely clear.

“The Critical Importance of Ecosystem Restoration”

June 2021 marked the launch of UN Decade on Ecosystem restoration. This effort aims at reversing the damage that us humans have caused and are still causing to Nature. It is clear that we have to reverse course and spare no effort into making this ‘Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’ a success. Preserving Nature and maintaining its services are critical for our survival on this planet and for our livelihoods.

Calls to Halt Construction of Massive Oilfield in One of Africa’s last Wildernesses

Wildlife and environmental campaigners have called for international action as concerns grow over a project to create a massive oilfield in one of Africa’s last wildernesses.

Bangladesh’s Indigenous Forest Dwellers Fear Losing Ancestral Land as Officials Grapple with Land Grabs

When the Bangladesh Forest Department felled Basanti Rema’s banana orchard, Rema, a Garo indigenous forest-dweller of Madhupur Forest, felt she was living a nightmare. Rema, from Pegmari village in Madhupur, Tangail district, had cultivated the banana plants on half an acre in the Madhupur Forest. But the Forest Department claimed that the land on which the bananas were cultivated belonged to the department. 

Stopping Marine Plastic Pollution: A Key IUCN Congress Goal

Documented images of albatross chicks and marine turtles dying slow deaths from eating plastic bags and other waste are being seared into our consciences. And yet our mass pollution of Earth’s seas and oceans, fuelled by single-use plastics and throw-away consumerism, just gets worse.

Does a New ‘Gold Standard’ Really Protect Miners?

Many products these days come with the promise that workers and communities all along their supply line  are protected from abuse  under a particular standard or code of conduct. Since the United Nations adopted the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights a decade ago, a plethora of such certification systems have emerged, including for  mining  and connected industries ranging from cars to jewelry and electronics.

The Last Coral Reef Wilderness: the Chagos Archipelago

On the Global Reef Expedition—the largest coral reef survey and mapping expedition in history—scientists from the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation traveled to the Chagos Archipelago to study some of the most remote coral reefs on Earth.

Three Million in Three Years: Jamaica’s Tree-Planting to Tackle Climate Change

By the time he is finished, Dr. Satyanarayana Parvataneni expects he will be responsible for planting over 200,000 tree seedlings in Jamaica. It is an effort driven by a desire to preserve the planet for the next generation, as well as the one of the largest contributions to date to a national effort to plant three million trees in three years.

Soil for Survival: Countries Commit to Halt Land Degradation

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told the first United Nations General Assembly meeting on desertification and drought in a decade, that his country’s report card will show it is well on track to meet its land restoration commitments.


Charcoal Production Risks Future of Zimbabwe’s Native Forests

Once a week a tonnage of fresh charcoal is dropped off at Sibangani Tshobe's rugged, pit-stop stall by a hired, battered old Bedford lorry. Small, makeshift trolleys — nicknamed Scania's — quickly cart off small loads and disappear into Old Pumula, the oldest suburb in the country’s second-largest city of Bulawayo.

Preventing Hunger While Building Peace

Acute hunger is expected to soar in over 20 countries in the next few months, warns a recent report on global “hunger hotspots” from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP). An estimated 34 million people are “one step away from starvation”, pushed to the brink by climate shocks, conflict, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ocean’s Silent Killer: Breaking Down Overfishing

You don’t have to look too hard to find some news network or media outlet talking about water pollution, plastic waste, CO2 emissions, and climate change.

Fresh Air, Clean Water

You want to breathe fresh air and have access to clean water? I guess you do, just like all of us. As populations in the so-called developed countries, we love to go for holidays in places where on high mountains you get to breathe deeply and enjoy the fresh air, where the oceans or lakes are clean and refreshing. And how do we arrive there? Mostly by airplanes or cars, polluting the air whilst travelling to the desired destinations, causing harm to people and the planet. Interestingly, many people today, calculate their flight’s CO2 footprint and pay a certain amount of money to invest in renewable energy projects, in order to feel better about their travelling and to receive tax deductibility (depending on regulations of their country).

Is Sharing More than Water the Key to Transboundary Governance in the Meghna River Basin?

Kajol Miah is a rice farmer from the Bangladesh side of the Meghna River Basin. And in towns on the Indian side of the river basin, Bangladeshi rice is in great demand.

– Why Experts are Saying It’s a ‘Make or Break’ Moment for Forests –

On the occasion of World Environment Day, 5 June 2021, drawing from IPS’s bank of features and opinion editorials published this year, we are re-publishing one article a day, for the next two weeks. The original article was published on April 28 2021

Wards Without Water

Malawian healthcare workers are facing challenges from all sides. More than half of healthcare facilities in Malawi are without handwashing facilities, almost two thirds have no decent toilets and almost one fifth do not have clean water on site.

– Mining giant Rio Tinto Face Environmental, Human Rights Complaint in Papua New Guinea –

On the occasion of World Environment Day, 5 June 2021, drawing from IPS’s bank of features and opinion editorials published this year, we are re-publishing one article a day, for the next two weeks. The original article was published on January 4 2021

CORRECTED VERSION: Struggle for the Future of Food

Producers and consumers seem helpless as food all over the world comes under fast growing corporate control. Such changes have also been worsening environmental collapse, social dislocation and the human condition.

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