Biodiversity

A Call to Action on Living Lands

If the ocean is the lifeblood of the Commonwealth, then forests are the lungs that breathe life into its whole system. From the vast boreal woodlands of Canada to the rich primary forests of Papua New Guinea, the Commonwealth covers nearly a quarter of all forest land in the world - an estimated 900 million hectares. These biodiversity havens not only house about half of all animal species on earth, they also give us clean air, water and food, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people while tackling climate change.

The Time to Protect Our Oceans is Now

There is no other place in the world like Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park. The waters surrounding the island--covered with tropical forests--are a playground to countless shivers, or schools, of sharks, including hammerhead sharks, whitetip reef sharks and whale sharks.

Why Does Yangtze River Have its Own Protection Law?

The new Yangtze River Protection Law (YRPL), which came into effect on March 1, 2021, is China’s first legislation on a specific river basin. The Yangtze River is China’s longest and largest river system, stretching over 6,300 kilometres and has over 700 tributaries. With a drainage basin covering more than 1.8 million square kilometres, approximately one-fifth of China’s total land area, the river basin is home to over 40% of the country’s population.

Blue Ocean Solutions for Climate Resilience and Accelerated Development

Seychelles’ 115 islands are an exotic ocean ecosystem of beaches, coral reefs, and unique plant and animal species. Concerned with the impacts of climate change, the country has committed to decarbonize by 2050.

Nature-Based Solutions for Enhancing Coordinated Action Around Climate Change, Land and Biodiversity

A key outcome of COP26 climate summit is the enhanced focus on “nature-based solutions” – the plans for people to work closely alongside nature to avert a planetary catastrophe.

Youth at Forefront of Climate Change Action Will Make Biggest Impact

On Gladys Habu’s birthday, she filmed a message to world leaders while standing waist-deep in the sea next to a dead tree stump – the only remnant of Kale Island now submerged underwater due to climate-change-induced sea-level rise.

Fighting Loss of the Greater Mekong’s Prized Rosewood Forests

The famed Rosewood forests of the Greater Mekong region in Southeast Asia produce dark, richly grained timbers zealously sought after worldwide by manufacturers of luxury furniture, flooring and musical instruments, among other products. But their high value has also made them a major commodity in transnational organized crime.

Time Honoured Food Traditions, Pleasing for Palate and Planet

Balance is the absolute key, says Alia Chughtai, a journalist who started a catering service with filmmaker Akhlaque Mahesar, by the name of Aur Chaawal (And Rice), two years ago.

Double Solution to Ongoing Food and Climate Crises

For the last ten years, Angeline Wanjira’s food stall at Kirigiti Market in Kiambu County has featured the same foods, cabbages, potatoes and carrots, keeping with the community’s most preferred food types.

Finance Nature-based Solutions to Quiet Nature’s Wrath – Experts

Climate change experts and leaders from the Commonwealth member states rallied behind calls to accelerate climate finance for nature-based solutions to arrest the pace of climate change, land degradation, and biodiversity loss.

COP26: The Many Links Between Food Systems & Climate Change: Message to Glasgow

Unless food systems transformation is put at the center of climate action, commitments governments have already made, and could make at COP26, will be jeopardized.

Risky business: Why Sustainability is now Central to Mitigating Risk

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly caused the largest economic and societal shock the world has experienced this century. Yet it was not unforeseen.

Any End to This Suicidal War? (I) The Destruction of the Web of Life

Can yet another dispendious world gathering find a way to halt the ongoing suicidal war on Nature, which is leading to the destruction of all sources of life?

Green Gold: Billion Dollar Question for Congo Rainforest

On the brink of an unprecedented environmental emergency, EU ambassadors to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) gathered earlier this month for a luxury river cruise hosted by the country’s Environment Minister, Eve Bazaiba.

COP26 Could Get Hot, but Southern African Region Needs it to be Cool and Committed

COP26 is almost upon us, and dire warnings abound that it’s boom or bust for a greener future. Meanwhile, everybody boasts about what they will do to cool down our planet, but there is a disjuncture between talk and action. Even Queen Elizabeth II of the host country, the United Kingdom, has grumbled publicly that not enough action is taking place on climate change.

Forests & Climate: We Need to do Much, Much More

Governments agree that saving the climate means saving forests – but ambition and action fall short of what’s required. First the good news: one of the forest goals agreed by governments, businesses and civil society organizations has been met.

Mangrove Blue Carbon for Climate Change Mitigation

Smelly, boggy, and full of bugs, mangroves’ superpowers are well hidden. However, there is rising confidence that mangroves are the silver bullet to combat the effects of climate change.

IUCN World Conservation Congress Warns Humanity at ‘Tipping Point’

The world’s most influential conservation congress, meeting for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has issued its starkest warning to date over the planet’s escalating climate and biodiversity emergencies.

Zero Hunger Campaign in Vietnam Targets Remote Areas and Cities

Amidst the verdant hills and remote corners of Vietnam’s rural regions, the growth that has transformed the economy in this part of Southeast Asia in recent decades can be hard to see. Undernourishment among children still results in stunting – even in cities too where overweight/obesity is also on the rise.

Rwanda’s Rainforest Conservation Wins Praise from Indigenous Community

Laurent Hategekimana, a villager from Nyabihu, a district from Western Rwanda, recalls the terrible condition of the Gishwati natural forest a few years ago when it was overrun by illegal loggers and invading farmers.

Transforming Global Food Systems Equitably & Sustainably Requires the Private Sector

In the days following the UN Food Systems Summit I have read a number or articles questioning whether there is a role for the private sector in transforming global food systems into something healthier, more sustainable and more equitable. Frankly, I don’t see how food systems transformation is possible without meaningful participation of the private sector.

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