Environment

Pakistan Flooding Shows ‘Adapting’ to Climate Change Can Be a Dangerous Illusion

One third of Pakistan is now under water. The scope of the destruction is difficult to fathom, not just the enormity of the devastation its people are facing today, but also the damage to its infrastructure, its buildings, and its economy that will weigh heavily on the country for months and even years to come.

What Must COP27 Deliver?

Preparations for COP27 in November are proceeding apace and we are now well past the halfway mark between the preparatory meetings in June in Bonn and the start of the summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The agenda for Sharm El-Sheikh is complex and challenging. Furthermore, the meeting is taking place during a time of international turmoil. So, what are the factors influencing whether Sharm El-Sheikh can be a success? And what, exactly, does COP27 need to deliver?

Africa Struggles with Neo-Colonialism

After a quarter century of economic stagnation, African economic recovery early in the 21st century was under great pressure even before the pandemic, due to new trade arrangements, falling commodity prices and severe environmental stress.

Optimism Prevails Despite Uncertainty Over Revolution to Build Africa’s Food Systems

The 2022 Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit ended in Kigali, Rwanda, with policymakers, activists, researchers, business leaders, and agricultural experts divided over the right pace to build resilient agri-food systems on the continent.

United We Stand to Achieve Sustainable Development

The world today faces a future that is in peril. Our challenges have become more complex and interconnected, as we see the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, an uneven economic recovery, a climate emergency, growing inequalities, and an increase in conflicts globally. This year also marks a grim milestone, with over 100 million people forcibly displaced.

Africa Needs More Action, Fewer Words to Secure Food and Nutrition

For more than five years, Ritta Achevih was harvesting one bag of maize or less from her small plot each season. She could hardly provide enough healthy food for her big family.

In the Face of Scarcity, Cubans Dream of Once Again Drinking Their Daily Cup of Coffee

While the Cuban government's plans to increase production begin to bear fruit, Mireya Barrios confesses that she seeks every possible way to enjoy a cup of coffee every day, in the face of high prices and scarcity.

Climate Collapse Is Not Inevitable But ‘Great Leap’ Needed

In 1972 the Club of Rome alerted the world to the harm human economic systems were doing to the health of our planet in its seminal, best-selling report, The Limits to Growth. With the devastating impacts of the climate crisis hitting home harder than ever, especially in the Global South, that warning about the dangers of exponential economic growth has been fully vindicated.

Developing Countries Must Grow More Food
Climate change and war on Ukraine a wake-up call

As our planet continues to heat up, extreme weather has affected many of us. From the west coast of North America across Europe, the Middle East and Asia to Pakistan and New Zealand, wildfires and flash floods have destroyed homes and property and disrupted the daily lives of millions.

How Development Banks Put Communities at Risk – PODCAST

A 2021 World Bank-financed project in Uganda was supposed to help communities to sustainably manage local areas and to cope with the impacts of Covid-19. But at one site, the Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve, the funding emboldened the Uganda Wildlife Authority. A government body, and the project’s implementing agency, the UWA has long prevented indigenous communities from reclaiming their land near the wildlife reserve.

Sand Poachers Fueling Environmental Harm in Zimbabwe

In Chitungwiza, right next to the highway, 36-year-old Nesbit Gavanga and his five colleagues use shovels as they load trucks with sand. The six apparently are in the business of sand-poaching and openly explain that every other day they engage in running battles with environmental officials who seek to curtail land degradation here. The group’s informal sand quarry lies 25 kilometers southeast of the Zimbabwean capital Harare.

Pakistan’s Climate Catastrophe: Lessons for the World

Monsoon flooding has occurred often in Pakistan but never to the catastrophic extent presently happening. A distinguishing feature of this disaster is that no one blames the flooding’s unprecedented intensity and destructiveness on anything but climate heating. The clear link between the warming atmosphere and the frequency and duration of extreme weather events of this scale should not be lost on the rest of the world.

Eight International Development Priorities for the new UK Prime Minister

The UK’s new Prime Minister (and former Foreign Secretary), Liz Truss, enters Downing Street with a full and urgent in-tray, dominated by the highest inflation rate for 40 years and concerns across the country about the cost-of-living crisis.

The Right Policies Can Protect the Workers of Asia and the Pacific

Most of the 2.1 billion strong workforce in Asia and the Pacific are denied access to decent jobs, health care and social protection but there is an array polices and tools that governments can use to remedy these deficiencies and ensure that the rights and aspirations of these workers and their families are upheld and that they remain the engine of economic growth for the region.

Biomethane, the Energy that Cleans Garbage in Brazil

The increasing productivity with which humankind generates waste has gained at least one sustainable counterpart: the extraction of biogas from landfills, a growing activity in Brazil.

Special Economic Zones: A Nod Towards Capitalism in Venezuela

Venezuela is preparing to replicate the experience of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), a mechanism with which more than 60 countries have tried to draw investment and accelerate economic growth, while under its avowedly socialist government a "silent neoliberalism" is gaining ground.

Transforming Girls’ Education, Changing The World

As we approach this year’s Transforming Education Summit, global leaders can and must prioritize expertise and mobilize political will to support efforts to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, especially girls. This is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goal 4 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the commitments made in the Charlevoix Declaration and the G7 Declaration on Girls’ Education.

From Worm Composting to Biofuels, the Caribbean Seeks Solutions to Seaweed Influx

In June 2022, swathes of matted, putrid seaweed took over the shores of beaches across the Caribbean. It was the worst seaweed influx reported since 2011, when ocean currents began depositing tons of the brown seaweed, known as Sargassum, across the region, leaving authorities grappling with the severe ecological and economic fallout.

Air Pollution Kills Millions Every Year: Action Needed

Tarik, age 42, lives in a village adjacent to a decades-old coal power plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the day we visited, Bosnian cities were some of the most polluted places on Earth. Describing the devastating health toll the air pollution took each year on the village’s older residents he voiced his fear for his aging parents, who had lived there for over 40 years: “The older people in this village are desperate. They put up with this air for months. They don’t get out, they don’t socialize, they can’t get groceries or medication. It’s a terrible existence.”

Monster Monsoon: “Pakistan and Its People Are Paying the Costs of What They Are Not Responsible For.”

Pakistan has been going through the worst time of its recent history due to unprecedented colossal monsoon rains and devastating floods. The current floods would have been expected less than once a century, but climate experts claim that what we are seeing today is just a trailer of what’s in store for us if we don’t pay heed to climate change. More than 112 districts are currently afffected and around 30 million people; their property and land are totally devastated. Across the country, where hundreds of thousands of cattle died due to the Lumpy Skin Disease, now more than 727,000 have perished due to floods and rains. The number is increasing rapidly.

Latin America Looks to COP27: ‘The Time to See Ourselves Only as Climate Victims is Over’

Latin America is already one of the world’s regions hit hardest by the impacts of climate change. Extreme weather events such as droughts, heatwaves, tropical cyclones and floods have caused scores of deaths and severe damage to crop production and infrastructure, as underlined in a recent regional report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

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