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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.