Latin America & the Caribbean

Biogas in Argentina: Turning an Environmental Problem into a Solution

"Until five years ago, we didn't know about the circular economy, but today our waste generates environmentally neutral products that also offer a return,” says José Luis Barrinat, manager of a cooperative that brings together some 550 small farmers in Monje, Argentina.

Brazil Relies on Rainfall that Depends on the Forests

"Rainfall is fundamental; the streams and rivers we have would not suffice for irrigation, even if they were the Amazon River," said Dirceu Dezem, referring to the amount of water required for the extensive crops in Brazil’s midwest.

The Complex Energy Transition of Chile’s “Sacrifice Zones”

Standing on Punta Ventanilla, Carlos Vegas, 65, looks across at the industrial park which has been there most of his life. He looks at the impact of the 15 industries spread around the bay that connects the towns of Quintero and Puchuncaví, in central Chile.

Colombia Gives Nearly 1 Million Venezuelan Migrants Legal Status and Right to Work

Colombia will grant legal status to all Venezuelan migrants who fled there since 2016 to escape their country’s economic collapse and political crisis.

Ecological Cookstoves Help Preserve El Salvador’s Coastal Mangroves

A score of coastal communities in El Salvador are staking their bets on sustainable development as a form of life that does not overexploit natural resources diminished by years of government neglect and a lack of environmental awareness, using instruments ranging from ecological cookstoves to mangrove reforestation.

Farmers in Brazil Benefit as Biogas Replaces Firewood

"Biogas is worth gold to us, we can no longer live without it," Claudete Volkswey, a poultry farmer in the municipality of Toledo, in the southwestern state of Paraná, Brazil, said enthusiastically about the new source of energy that has allowed her to get a good night’s sleep again, because she no longer has to get up to stoke the fire every two hours.

Mexico Looks to the Heavens for a Solution to Its Water Crisis

In neighbourhoods like Tehuixtitla in southern Mexico City, rain brings joy, because it provides water for showering, washing dishes and clothes, and cooking, by means of rainwater harvesting systems (RHS).

Pandemic Accentuates Need for Caribbean Countries to Improve Food and Nutrition Security

Last year, Jaxine Scott was off work as a caregiver at a primary school as a result of the pandemic. One day, she noticed a green shoot emerging from some garlic in her fridge. She decided to plant it, and to her surprise, it thrived. “I thought ‘It looks like I have a green thumb, let me plant something else,’” Scott says. She now has a backyard garden, including cucumber, pumpkin, melon, callaloo, cantaloupe, pak choy and tomatoes. “It makes me feel good,” she says. “I can help my family members and neighbours. It has saved me money. I’m not going to stop, I’m going to continue,” she says.

Recipes with a Taste of Sustainable Development on the Coast of El Salvador

Salvadoran villager Maria Luz Rodriguez placed the cheese on top of the lasagna she was cooking outdoors, put the pan in her solar oven and glanced at the midday sun to be sure there was enough energy for cooking.

What’s in a Hurricane Name? Dorian, Laura, Eta & Iota Retired from WMO List

The World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Hurricane Committee decided at its annual meeting to retire four tropical cyclone names from its rotating list after assessing the record-breaking hurricane 2020 season.

Nobel Economist and 100 Experts Condemn Corporate Action against Argentina and Bolivia after Rollback of Failed Pension Privatization

Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, Juan Somavia, Jeffrey Sachs, Jose Antonio Ocampo and more than 100 high-level development experts have issued a statement protesting insurance corporations suing Argentina and Bolivia over the reversal of their failed pension privatizations at closed sessions of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) of the World Bank. If Argentina and Bolivia lose the disputes, it means that impoverished citizens and elderly pensioners will have to compensate wealthy financial corporations. Read their letter:

Maquila Female Workers in Their Own Words: Fighting COVID and Labor Abuse

A compilation of testimonies collected by Blanca Velázquez Díaz and published by the Ebert Foundation (available at: http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/bueros/mexiko/17328.pdf) offers an account of the harsh reality by which some workers of the maquila industry in the Mexican state of Morelos have gone through over these last twelve months. Their words reflect, undoubtedly, similar experiences of millions of workers in different parts of the country.

A Country with too Many Victims and Few Shelters

In March 2014, Noemi N. took her own life inside a refuge camp in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, where up until now there are no specialized shelters for victims of human trafficking.

A Look at Colombian Coffee Prices One Year on From the Stabilization Fund

It’s been just over a year since the Colombian government launched its landmark price stabilization fund. With a budget of $64 million, the fund was designed to provide a hedge against low prices by subsidizing farmers during periods when prices dropped below production costs.

Indigenous Communities in Mexico Fight Energy Projects

Indigenous farmers on communally owned lands have blocked since 2016 a private solar farm in the southeastern Mexican state of Yucatan by means of legal action, due to the company’s failure to hold consultations with local native communities and the risk of environmental damage.

The Mexican Economy: A Short or Long Recession Cycle?

The trend of the Mexican economy during the last two years has not been positive. INEGI, the official bureau of statistics, has just reported that GDP registered a fall of 8.5 percent compared to 2019 with seasonally adjusted figures. But in 2019 GDP also receded, although in far less measure, less than one percentage point. However, it must be considered that the Mexican economy has been falling for 6 quarters (compared to the previous year). Considering the population growth rate (1.2 percent per year), the fall in the GDP per capita is close to 11 percent. This figure matters because it gives a more accurate idea of the size of the downturn. It is also necessary to take into account the two years, since our interest should be now to try to figure out how long the recession will be the endure, that is, when will Mexico reach the pre-pandemic level of GDP.

International Women’s Day 2021
A Post-COVID World Needs Amplified Women’s Voices in Politics, Climate Change

The theme for International Women’s Day 2021, ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in the COVID-19 World,’ is grounded in the reality that this women’s day is unlike any other.


Hundreds of Wells Alleviate Water Shortages in Venezuelan Capital

Thousands of families in the Venezuelan capital have dipped into their savings or gone into debt, in the midst of the worst economic crisis in this country since the 19th century, so that their building has access to a well that will supply the water that has stopped running from the faucet.

Fantasy Turned Nightmare for Human Trafficking Survivor who is now Thriving in the US

Marcela Loaiza was just 21 years old when a man approached her at her workplace in Pereira City, Colombia with promises of fame and money. The well-dressed, mysterious Colombian said he could give her an opportunity for a better life. Loaiza was also working at a supermarket to support herself and her three-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

Renewed, More Ambitious Targets of Paris Agreement Needed

Projected reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are falling "far short" of what is required to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement.

That is according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which released its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) Scorecard today, Feb 26.


Mexico to Ban Glyphosate, GM Corn
Presidential Decree Comes Despite Intense Pressure from Industry, U.S. Authorities

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador quietly rocked the agribusiness world with his New Year’s Eve decree to phase out use of the herbicide glyphosate and the cultivation of genetically modified corn. His administration sent an even stronger aftershock two weeks later, clarifying that the government would also phase out GM corn imports in three years and the ban would include not just corn for human consumption but yellow corn destined primarily for livestock. Under NAFTA, the United States has seen a 400% increase in corn exports to Mexico, the vast majority genetically modified yellow dent corn.

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