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Voices from the World Social Forum 2024 – PODCAST

After interviewing a member of the Nepal organizing committee ahead of opening day, I was excited about covering my first ever World Social Forum (WSF). He suggested that at least 30,000 and as many as 50,000 activists from over 90 countries would attend the three-day event.

Funding, Policy Changes Could Result in Countries Reaping Benefit of Migration

Amid an escalation of global conflict and climate change-induced displacements, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is escalating its donor campaign. For the first time since the organization’s formation in 1951, the IOM says it is "proactively approaching all partners to fund this vital appeal," at a time when the number of migrants making perilous intercontinental journeys has increased.

The World Social Forum: The counterweight to the World Economic Forum

This week the 2024 annual meeting of the World Social Forum (WSF) was held in Nepal. There were fifty thousand participants from over 90 countries, exchanging strategies to address the multiple global crises, from climate catastrophes to unfettered capitalism, inequality, social injustice, wars and conflict.

Children’s Futures at a Crossroads

At the start of 2024, we stand at a critical juncture: Geopolitical tensions are escalating, economic integration is unravelling, and multilateral cooperation is faltering. This global fragmentation threatens to undermine decades of progress made for children worldwide.

Unpacking 2023, the Warmest Year on Record

2023 was the warmest year on record. The latest Copernicus Climate Change Service highlights that February 2023 to January 2024 was the first time that we experienced 12 consecutive months of temperatures 1.5-degree hotter than the pre-industrial era.

Pakistan’s Election Outcomes Leave Many Unhappy

Pakistan’s 8 February election has resulted in an uneasy compromise that few wanted or expected. There’s little indication the outcome is going to reverse recent regression in civic freedoms.

#UNmute: Over 350 Civil Society Organizations Ask for Real Inclusion in UN Summit of the Future Negotiations

A coalition of over 350 civil society organisations part of the #UNmute initiative, shared concerns over the current engagement mechanisms for civil society at the UN – particularly in light of the upcoming Summit of the Future.

Coastal Indigenous and Minority Women Driving Kenya’s Blue Forest Conservation Efforts

Tsunza Peninsula is a natural wonder that sits just inside the many inlets of Mombasa Island on the border between Mombasa and Kwale Counties—a little-known spectacle of lagoons, islands, and thick mangroves in Kinango Sub-County, Kwale County, on Kenya’s coastal region. 

Inside Kenya’s Seed Control Battle: Why Smallholder Farmers Want to Share Indigenous Seeds

A group of 15 smallholder farmers in Kenya petitioned the country’s High Court, seeking to compel the government to review sections of a law that bans the sharing and exchange of uncertified and unregistered seeds.

It Is Imperative To Protect Children In War

All around the globe, the most vulnerable among us are suffering the gravest consequences of war. Children bear the brunt of the horrors inflicted by States and armed groups worldwide, with recent examples found in Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, and Afghanistan.

Who Wants to Live by the Sea?

For most of history, only those who made their living from the sea chose to live on the coast. Fear of being battered by storms, not to mention vulnerability to attacks from foreign navies, kept most people inland. Gradually that changed and, along with fisherfolk and their families, the idea of a coastal location became something of a cult. High property prices still reflect its popularity. But is it any longer so desirable?

Cambodia’s Declining Fish Catch: Can the Tide Be Reversed?

Living in a floating village means embracing the rhythm of the ever-changing water. As I stroll through Kampong Khleang, flanked by wooden stilt houses lining sandy streets, I witness daily life unfolding.  Alongside staircases, people prepare meals or run their little shops.

Small Island “Digital” States: Charting the Course for Transformation

Small Island Developing States, or SIDS, have long been pioneers in international development, often compelled by the challenges they face. Positioned on the frontlines of climate change, they lead efforts in mitigation, adaptation, and advocacy, and despite their geographical dispersion, they are innovating approaches to resilience and sustainability.

New Anti-Rape Crisis Centre Brings Hope for Sexual Abuse Survivors in Pakistan

Medical experts and women's rights activists are pinning hopes on the establishment of an anti-rape crisis centre for the provision of medical and legal aid to victims of sexual assaults in a timely manner will ensure convictions. Currently, it takes years to bring the perpetrators of rape to justice due to a lack of evidence and more often than not, the accused get acquitted.

Phasing out from Fossil Fuels: An Imperative for Climate Justice

Climate change made 2023 the warmest year on record. As urgency mounts to address this worldwide crisis, phasing out the use of fossil fuels is a necessary step that all nations must take. This is because fossil fuels—coal, oil and gas -- are the primary drivers of the climate crisis accounting for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions.

Snowless Winter and a Climate Crisis: Kashmir’s ‘Unprecedented’ Weather

Abdul Gani Malik, a 75-year-old goldsmith living in Kashmir’s capital, Srinagar, has witnessed eras of tranquility and turbulence in the Himalayan region. What he has not seen, however, is a snowless Kashmir during the winter.

INTERVIEW: AI Expert Warns of ‘Digital Colonization’ in Africa

Artificial intelligence (AI) is ripe to help resolve certain major problems in Africa, from farming to the health sector, but Senegalese expert Seydina Moussa Ndiaye is warning of a new “colonization” of the continent by this new technology if foreign companies continue to feed on African data without involving local actors.

Forced Migration Grows, Justice Withers, Say Activists at World Social Forum

As involuntary migration rises around the world, partly in response to the impacts of climate change, justice for those leaving their homes and families to earn a living is largely missing, said activists meeting at the World Social Forum (WSF) in Kathmandu on Sunday.

Women Biomass Producers: Energy’s Largest and Largely Invisible Workforce

The International Energy Agency (IEA) held its annual ministers meeting last week in Paris, marking the 50th anniversary of the world’s leading energy organization. Critical topics on the agenda included energy security issues linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, as well as advancing a clean energy transition to meet global climate change goals.

Smallholder Farmers Are Key to CGIAR Response to Hunger Crisis

Dr Ismahane Elouafi has her work cut out. As the new executive managing director of CGIAR, a global network of agricultural research centers, her mandate, simply put, is to tackle the world’s most severe hunger crisis in modern history. And it is in Africa that the former Chief Scientist of FAO with a PhD in durum wheat genetics faces her greatest challenges, both in terms of developing science-based innovations and technologies and lobbying governments to adopt responsible policies.

Making Chile’s Economy More Dynamic, Greener, and Inclusive

Chile’s economy is at a crossroads. Strong policies have successfully brought down high inflation and reduced the large current account deficit that emerged during the pandemic. Increases in social benefits have provided some relief in response to discontent over inequality.

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