Environment

Caribbean Under Threat: Report Reveals Enormous Challenges for the Region

Less than halfway into the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Jamaica and its Caribbean neighbours were already tallying the costs of infrastructural damage and crop losses from the passage of three tropical storms - Elsa, Grace and Ida. And after a record-breaking 2020 season, the region is on tenterhooks as the season peaks.

In a Watershed Year for Climate Change, the Commonwealth Secretary-General calls for Urgent, Decisive and Sustained Climate Action

This November, five years after signing the Paris Agreement and pledging to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a further target of below 1.5 degrees Celsius, world leaders will meet in Glasgow, UK amid COVID-19 pandemic shocks, rising hunger and an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that warns of more extreme temperature, droughts, forest fires and ice sheet loss due to human activity.

A Regional Agreement for Healthy Eco-Systems in Latin America & the Caribbean

In August 31st 2021, five Nations including Costa Rica - the country where the Escazú Agreement was adopted - announced publicly working towards a proposal for UN Human Rights Council to recognize globally the right to a clean, safe, healthy and sustainable environment at its 48th session in September.

Climate Crisis Drives Up Cost of Electricity and Brings Big Changes in Brazil

As most of the world seeks to modify its energy mix to mitigate climate change, Brazil has also been forced to do so to adapt to the climate crisis whose effects are being felt in the country due to the scarcity of rainfall.

The ARC Model: Proactive Disaster Risk Financing for a More Resilient Africa

The world faces multiple crises: climate change, extreme weather events, food security and biodiversity. For African nations, these issues are compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic outbreaks that include Rift Valley Fever and Malaria. With 35 African Union Member States as signatories to its establishment Treaty, the African Risk Capacity (ARC) Group – comprising of ARC Agency and ARC Limited - works with Governments to help improve their capacities to better plan, prepare, and respond to extreme weather disasters and natural disasters.

The Future of Food & Water Systems in Pakistan & Central Asia?

An intense monsoon season in Pakistan means the country’s food system faces the challenge of both extreme floods and extended droughts. In an effort to address these challenges through cross-sectoral collaboration, Dr. Mohsin Hafeez, IWMI’s Country Representative for Pakistan and Regional Representative for Central Asia, convened a regional dialogue in advance of the UN Food Systems Summit (which is scheduled to take place at the United Nations, September 23) .

IUCN Congress to Push for Stronger Regulations against ‘Imported Deforestation’

As Arti Prasad rode the Kuala Lumpur Pavilion mall escalator up to the third floor, a pair of luscious lips pouted down at her. Next to the towering and oversized lips, the vibrant red shades of lipstick on the giant screen immediately caught the 36-year-old Indian tourist’s fancy.

Fiddling in Nairobi While Africa Goes Hungry

As the United Nations gears up for its Food Systems Summit September 23, the urgent need for structural changes in how we grow, harvest, distribute, and consume food has never been more apparent.

‘COVICANE’ – How One Caribbean Country is Coping with the Hurricane Season during COVID-19

Around 2 pm on August 18, 89-year-old farmer Whitnel Louis and his wife Ayma began packing up their unsold produce, hoping to leave the capital of Roseau and get home way ahead of the 6 pm curfew recently put in place to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Data Platform Helps Pacific Island Countries Collect, Analyse and Act on Information

Do you know if midwife services are available at the Saupia Health Centre in Paunangisu, on the island of Efate in Vanuatu, in the Pacific Islands? I do, and I’ve never been within 1,000 kilometres of the facility — I found the information online within seconds thanks to a data platform called Tupaia.

Argentina Takes Controversial Step Backwards in Biofuel Production

Argentina, historically an agricultural powerhouse, has become a major producer of biofuels in recent years. However, this South American country is now moving backwards in the use of this oil substitute in transportation, a decision in which economics weighed heavily and environmental concerns have been ignored.

Jamaica Walking a Tightrope Between Boosting the Economy and Cutting Emissions in COVID-19 Era

Even as COVID-19 walloped Jamaica’s economy last year, the government overhauled its energy emissions milestones to create what many described as a post-pandemic recovery package, based on stronger carbon targets for the farming and forestry sectors.

Cook Islands Entrepreneur Develops Hydroponics Greenhouse to Boost Local Food Production

Finding ways to be smarter producers of food was a priority in small island developing states (SIDS) before the outbreak of Covid-19. Now the ideas of farmers and entrepreneurs, such as Piri Maao in the Cook Islands, are being avidly sought by governments and development bodies, which are keen to drive resilience and recovery as the pandemic moves into its second year.

Digital Tech can Help African Island States Cope with Climate Change

Investing in digital technologies can help African small island developing states (SIDS), vulnerable to extreme weather events, cope with growing impacts of climate change, says the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Needed in the Global South: Wastewater Collection for COVID-19 Detection

Understanding the scale and intensity of the COVID-19 virus and its emerging variants, predicting the pandemic’s direction, and developing and refining associated management response options are challenges likely to confront public-health officials and national governments worldwide well into the future.

Mexico’s Suspicious Shark Fins Exports Under CITES

At “The Lieutenant” (“El Teniente”) fishing site, near La Paz (Baja California Sur’s capital) the boats go by and come in all morning. To chase down sharks, fishers make their way to the Holy Spirit island, some 30 km away from La Paz. They unload the products that will be sold at the city’s fish markets.

Sharks, Victims of Mexican Authorities’ Neglect

The Mexican fisherman Tomás Valencia, aged 70, remembers that around 30 years ago he used to catch a lot of sharks.

Cuba, a Small Island State Seeking to Manage Its Vulnerability

Cuba, already beset by hurricanes, floods, droughts that deplete its main water sources, among other natural disasters, has seen its socioeconomic difficulties, similar to those faced by other Caribbean island nations, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Climate Disaster Migration Rises, Girls Get Married Off

When 11-year-old Mitali Padhi hugged her childhood friends to say goodbye, she felt a deep-seated foreboding.

Resilience in a Riskier World

Over the past two decades, the Asia-Pacific region has made remarkable progress in managing disaster risk. But countries can never let down their guard. The COVID-19 pandemic, with its epicentre now in Asia, and all its tragic consequences, has exposed the frailties of human societies in the face of powerful natural forces. As of mid-August 2021, Asian and Pacific countries had reported 65 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 1 million deaths. This is compounded by the extreme climate events which are affecting the entire world. Despite the varying contexts across geographic zones, the climate change connection is evident as floods swept across parts of China, India and Western Europe, while heatwaves and fires raged in parts of North America, Southern Europe and Asia.

Drought, Storms, Intense Rainfall and Fires Threatening Millions in Latin America and the Caribbean

In 2020, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia faced their worst drought in half a century. The Atlantic Basin saw 30 named storms – the most recorded in a single year. Two category 4 hurricanes achieved an unprecedented feat by making landfall in Nicaragua.

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