Economy & Trade

Wildlife Trafficking to Come under Fire at IUCN Congress

A recent seizure at Johannesburg’s international airport of a large consignment of rhino horns confirmed worst fears – illegal trafficking of wildlife and the plundering of treasured species is back with a vengeance after a Covid-19 lockdown lull.

African Farmers Could Benefit from More Friendly EU Agriculture Policies

Gilbert Bor manages a small farm in the western highlands of Kenya. Landscapes are hilly, village roads lined with pine trees, his cows mostly of the Friesian breed. He is up at 6:00am daily to lead his animals through the woods into the valley below.

Olympian Turned Volunteer Keeps Traffic Running in Busy Lagos

Bassey Etim Ironbar is a rare example of an Olympian that transformed from an athlete to a volunteer who does menial jobs like sweeping the streets and clearing debris from open sewers.

China Struggles with Socio-environmental Standards in Latin America

In southeast Mexico, work on the Yucatan Solar Park, owned by the Chinese company Jinko Solar, has been halted since 2020 for lack of proper consultation with indigenous communities, after affected local residents filed an injunction against the project.

Suburban Living the Worst for Carbon Emissions – New Research

Work, education, entertainment, or simply better connectivity all draw people to cities. By the end of this century around 85% of the world population are predicted to live in cities.

Central Banks Must Address Pandemic Challenges

Hopes for an inclusive global economic recovery are fast fading. As rich countries have done little to ensure poor countries’ access to vaccines and fiscal resources, North-South “fault lines” will certainly widen. Enhancing relief, recovery, transformation While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised rich countries’ recovery prospects upward, the United Nations (UN) notes formidable challenges, especially for developing countries, due to the pandemic.

Resumption of China-US Contacts: Use of Protocol as Peacetime Weapon in an Unstable World

It had been four long months since the meeting in Alaska between Chinese and American officials, their first interaction since President Joe Biden assumed office in January this year. That was when the Chinese Foreign policy top mandarins Yang Jiechi (Director, Central Foreign Affairs Commission) and Wang Yi (State Councillor and Foreign Minister) bitterly locked horns with the American top diplomats, Antony Blinken (Secretary of State) and Jake Sullivan (National Security Advisor) in Anchorage in intensely chilly circumstances. Bilateral relations remained pretty much frozen since. Both sides might have come around to the belief that a resumption of some level of contact was overdue. Not so much to bring about a thaw; rather, simply to test the water.

WTO Inches Closer To Agreement on Harmful Fishing Subsidies

After more than 20 years of negotiations, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has moved a step closer to an agreement on ending harmful fishing subsidies. The deal would set new rules for the global fishing industry and limit government funding that contributes to unsustainable fishing and the depletion of global fish stocks.

Muslim Women in India’s Workforce: Where Are They?

Muslims are the largest minority community in India, and yet, they are highly underrepresented both in public and private institutions. According to a study conducted by the Economic Times Intelligence Group in 2015, Muslims constituted approximately 2.7 percent of mid to senior executives in the private sector. As of April 2018, only 1.33 percent of officers in the central government, holding the rank of joint secretary and above, were found to be Muslims. 

Kenya’s Huge Railway Project Is Causing Environmental Damage. Here’s How

Kenya is constructing a railway line that connects the coastal port of Mombasa and the interior of the country. It is expected to terminate at Malaba, a town on the border with Uganda, and link up with other railways that are being built in East Africa. It’s locally known as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

To Prevent Teenage Pregnancies in Sub Saharan Africa, It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child

Honorine Meda is 23. Cycling through her hometown of Dissin, in Burkina Faso’s verdant southwest, she smiles, waves and stops to chat with one of the girls she counsels.

Golden Rice: Triumph for Science

After almost two decades, Golden Rice was approved last week by the Philippines authorities for use as food. This together with the approval of the bioengineered Bt eggplant represents a landmark victory of science over misinformation; it will provide consumers with improved nutrition (Golden Rice) and safer food (Bt eggplant).

Stepping Up to Meet Low-Income Countries’ Pandemic Recovery Needs

Low-income countries have been hard hit by the pandemic. Their large financing needs are only likely to grow as they deal with the crisis and its economic aftermath.

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.

Beware UN Food Systems Summit Trojan Horse

Undoubtedly, the world needs to reform existing food systems to better serve humanity and sustainable development. But the United Nations World Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) must be consistent with UN-led multilateralism. For the first time ever, the World Economic Forum (WEF), a partnership of some of the world’s most powerful corporations, is partnering the UN in launching the Summit, now scheduled for September, with its ‘Pre-Summit’ beginning today.

Rwandan Farmers Pin Hopes on New Tech to Tackle Food Losses

Rwanda is trying to reduce post-harvest loss by relying on new technologies to increase the amount of food available for consumption and help smallholder farmers confront some challenges caused by the overproduction of staple crops.

European Duplicity Undermines Anti-Pandemic Efforts

Despite facing the world’s worst pandemic of the last century, rich countries in the World Trade Organization (WTO) have blocked efforts to enable more affordable access to the means to fight the pandemic.

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.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Mining Proposal Faces Many Hurdles

That a country like El Salvador, poor and with many social needs, would embark on an effort to attract so-called bitcoin mining, which demands a huge amount of energy and does not generate large numbers of jobs, is an extravagance that many find hard to digest.

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.

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