With a focus on strengthening the resilience of small and vulnerable member countries, Unnikrishnan Nair says the Commonwealth Secretariat is working to align development and climate finance for maximum impact.
The recent downturn
in sales of alternative meat products is only the latest evidence that the world is unlikely to give up animal protein completely in the long run.
Australia had the chance to take a step forward in redressing the exclusion of its Indigenous people – and chose not to. In a referendum held in October, voters rejected a constitutional amendment to establish an institution for Indigenous people to have a say on matters that concern them.
The need to act on the climate crisis has never been clearer. In 2023, heat records have been shattered around the world. Seemingly every day brings news of extreme weather, imperilling lives. In July, UN Secretary-General António Guterres grimly announced
that ‘the era of global boiling has arrived’.
Smallholder farmers from the Global South benefit from a grossly disproportionate 0.3% of international climate finance despite producing a third of the world's food and despite holding the key to climate-proofing food systems.
It is crucial to narrow the gaps and ensure that climate finance goes to where people are most vulnerable, says Gernot Laganda, Director of Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)—especially as the most fragile states only receive USD 2.1 per capita while non-fragile states receive USD 161.
Somalia, Syria, DRC Congo, Afghanistan, Yemen, Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Nigeria, and Ethiopia are the 10 countries at greatest risk of climate disaster globally despite collectively contributing just 0.28 percent of global CO2 emissions. A climate-induced humanitarian crisis continues to unfold across these countries and many others in the global South, including Kenya, which declared drought a national disaster in September 2021.
As the countdown to COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, continues, IPS
caught up with Dr Oldman Koboto, Mauritius-based Manager for the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH).
The sun is high in the noon sky—humidity unrelenting at 95 percent in this Indian sea-coast village. The monsoon has been deficient; rice paddies are yellowing on the edges from the salty surf misting in on them. Waves now break barely 200 metres from the farms and homes.
As we approach the forest in the village to appreciate Andrew Mbewe’s beekeeping enterprise, a bee from a hive close to the edge of the natural woodland stings him on the cheek.
Although women account for more than three-quarters of the agricultural labour force and manage 40 percent of small-scale farms, historically, they neither owned nor controlled the land because land rights were passed down to male relatives. It is a historic gender injustice whereby women could only access land through close male relatives.
A return to nature is the main solution being promoted by communities and municipalities to avoid the water shortage that threatens to leave Santiago, the capital of Chile, home to more than 40 percent of the 19.5 million inhabitants of this South American country, without water.
Melting mountain glaciers. Unbearable heat. An uninsurable future. Space debris. Groundwater depletion. Accelerating extinctions. The United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security said this week that these six environmental "tipping points" can have "irreversible, catastrophic impacts for people and the planet."
On December 4, 2019, landslides in the Bududa region of Uganda killed 20. The landslides occurred after heavy rains, and a Red Cross report estimated that 96 households were affected, with 49 houses destroyed. It displaced many, while others continued to live in high-risk areas that could "slide at any moment."
Policy approaches relying solely on voluntary actions to address urgent needs are unlikely to succeed. Depending on optional compliance to address global warming will not fix things in time.
The defense of the right to water led Gema Pacheco to become involved in environmental struggles in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, an area threatened by drought, land degradation, megaprojects, mining and deforestation.
They do not have a pension nor financial support from families or relatives, but they have themselves. Now they have become collectors of plastic waste, which they turn into products as they battle for survival - earning money from the growing plastic pollution in Zimbabwe.
Women in pastoralist areas of East Africa are critical to the health of livestock in their communities, holding the key to effective animal vaccination campaigns meant to protect herds against deadly diseases.
They are, therefore, an important part of any vaccination strategies designed to guard the animals against killer outbreaks and need to be involved in such efforts for them to be successful.
Maribel Ochoa takes less time and spends less money commuting from her home to her work in eastern Mexico City thanks to the use of the electric Cablebus, a cable car that has improved her quality of life since the service began operating two years ago.
Finance has increased, not reduced, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Meanwhile, funding for mitigation, and especially adaptation, is grossly inadequate, with little for climate losses and damages.
The effects of El Niño on agriculture in Central America are once again putting pressure on thousands of small farmer families who are feeling more vulnerable economically and in terms of food, as they lose their crops, due to climate change.