Climate Change

Revamped UN System Crucial for a Changing World

From an international humanitarian perspective, the first half of 2021 has been disappointing. We’re no further ahead in ending the conflict in Syria and Yemen. From the fledgling democracy that it had become, Myanmar has descended into what most of its people had hoped was a bygone era of military rule. And in Ethiopia, where its Prime Minister, Ably Ahmed, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, armed conflict in Tigray is preventing the 2020 winners of the very same prize, the World Food Programme, from delivering the food needed to stop at least 350,000 Ethiopians from starving to death.

Water Scarcity: Coming Soon

In 1995, a highly-respected water expert in South Africa, Bill Pitman, in very concise terms illustrated that the country, already battling a growing lack of water then, would likely run out in 25 years if it did not increase its supply.

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).

Water Poverty: The Political Connection

The water we drink and the air we breathe are the basis of life. With universal access to clean water and sanitation, we will be healthier, our economies will be stronger, gender equality will be more achievable, and more children will stay in school.

Child Rights’ Experts Warn that Displaced Children and Young People Risk Being Wiped Out of the Education System

The difficulties in accessing education faced by children and young people forcibly displaced from their homes were today laid bare in a virtual high-level roundtable convened by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the UK and Canada.

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.

Is it Time to Create a UN Political Body for Climate Change?

As a wisecracking cynic once remarked: “The sun would never set on the British empire because God wouldn’t trust an Englishman in the dark“. Perhaps it was an uncharitable remark because most of the British colonies have long gone.

Why Are Some Pacific Lagoon Corals Resistant to Climate Change?

Abundant with diverse coral and fish species, the South-West Pacific reefs play a critical role in the marine ecosystems and economies of Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs). While there is no question that climate change is affecting coral, the level and type of impact is not uniform. To help us better understand why these differences exist, a team of marine scientists from New Caledonia set off on a scientific mission to sample coral species around the mainland of this Pacific Island nation.

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.

Confronting a Worsening Climate

Across the United States, the last few months have brought along many climate-linked disasters. From surging wildfires in Hawaii to record-breaking Pacific Northwest heat waves to drought across the western states. The southwestern states also have seen heavy rains that resulted in flash flooding events.

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.

The Future of Food is in Our Hands

With its political and economic clout, the G20 should lead in delivering sustainable food systems as the world grapples with rising hunger, malnutrition and inequality.

Striving for Sustainability in Global Food Systems

As the global community gears up for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit in September, it is significant that preparations are also underway by Global Reporting Initiative to deliver a new sector reporting standard for agriculture, aquaculture, and fishing.

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.

At the UN, Climate Change & Security Must Be Tackled Together

Could the next wars be triggered by climate change? Until recently, the question might have seemed like science fiction, but now it is very real. Ethiopia and Egypt are locked in an upward spiral of tensions over the Nile, as a combination of dams and shifting weather patterns pose existential risks to both countries.

“If Only the Fighting Would Stop “ A Sudanese Woman’s Wish

With her bare hands, Roda clears debris and forages scraps from her wrecked teashop after attackers scorched Gumuruk, a town in the Greater Jonglei region where conflict frequently disrupts daily life and stifles progress.

Combating COVID-19 and Ensuring No One is Left Behind

If the world wants to beat back the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure no one is left behind in the recovery, two issues thrown into sharp relief by the pandemic need attention: digitalization and regional cooperation.

Bridging the Gap and Crossing the Bridge

It may be a challenge, but it is also an absolute necessity: bridging the gap between international law and reality and quickly crossing the bridge to reach all crisis-affected children and youth left furthest behind. Inclusive and equitable quality education is the right of every girl and boy and the objective of Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Q&A: UN Food Systems Summit Opportunity for the World to Unite on Healthy, Fair & Sustainable Food Systems

Before the COVID-19 pandemic upended every sphere of life, the world was lagging on a goal to end hunger by 2030. According to the United Nations, more than 820 million people had already been categorised as food insecure, meaning they lacked access to reliable and sufficient amounts of affordable, healthy food.

“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.

Threat of Blackouts in Brazil Highlights Climate Crisis

Twenty years after the blackout that prompted nine months of rationing to keep the power grid from collapsing, Brazil may see a repeat of the traumatic situation, this time with a more obvious climate change undertone.

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