As the year 2022 drew to an end, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) warned, “Developing countries face ‘impossible trade-off’ on debt
”, that spiralling debt in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) has compromised their chances of sustainable development.
As the COP entered its crucial second week, negotiations are intensifying now. A slew of new contact groups – meeting mostly behind closed doors – are discussing the minutest details of the Global Biodiversity Framework and the contentious issues within or around it, such as Digital Sequencing Information, Access, and Benefit Sharing. The core aim of all these groups is to talk and resolve all issues and produce a draft treaty that will be acceptable to all parties.
Delegates from more than 190 countries are donning thick coats and winter boots to attend the long-delayed UN biodiversity summit in Montreal, Canada—the land of caribou, beluga whales and wolverines.
On September 1, 2022, debt-trapped Sri Lanka reached a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) for a 48-month Extended Fund Facility of $2.9 billion
, which hardly covers the country’s outstanding debt, nor its immediate survival needs.
As a central pillar of African diets for thousands of years, millet has a prized position as one of the continent’s most important crops.
And with the onset of climate change, millet offers valuable security to the continent’s smallholder farmers due to the crop’s tolerance for dry soils.
Ahead of the first United Nations environmental summit
in Stockholm in 1972, a group of scientists prepared The Limits to Growth
report for the Club of Rome
. It showed planet Earth’s finite natural resources cannot support ever-growing human consumption.
It is no secret that humankind’s past actions have accelerated the deterioration of ecosystems, negatively impacting our economies, societies, health, and cultures. It is estimated that humans have altered over 97% of ecosystems worldwide, to date. One million species are currently threatened with extinction (IPBES). The writing on the wall is clear. Our planet is in crisis. The sobering reality is that if we continue on our current trajectory, biodiversity and the services it provides will continue to decline, jeopardizing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and our lives as we know them. The decline in biodiversity is expected to further accelerate unless effective action is taken to address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss. These causes are often justified by societal values, norms and behaviors. Some examples include unsustainable production and consumption patterns, human population dynamics and trends, and technological innovation patterns.
As a new report lays bare the massive financial costs to developing states of illegal fishing, campaigners are hoping that drawing attention to the practice’s devastating economic effects will help push governments to greater action against the illicit trade.
A coalition of civil society organisations is demanding public development banks (PDBs) to take radical and innovative steps to tackle human rights violations and environmental destruction. No project funded by PDBs should come at the expenses of vulnerable groups, the environment and collective liberties, but should instead embody the voices of communities, democratic values and environmental justice.
As much of the world was starting to glimpse recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it now finds itself amid a cost-of-living crisis
brought on by disruptions in global energy and food markets that are the result of conflict and climate change.
Central banks (CBs) around the world – led by the US Fed, European Central Bank and Bank of England – are raising interest rates, ostensibly to check inflation. The ensuing race to the bottom is hastening world economic recession.
Each year, low-emitting countries like Bangladesh are the greatest sufferers and, paradoxically, pay the biggest price in losses and damages resulting from climate change.
When I was a child, a friend asked me: “How would you describe a tree to someone who has never seen one?” I looked at the trees surrounding us and realised it was impossible, considering their versatility, beauty and utter strangeness. Since that time, I have often wondered about trees, as well as I have been worried by the indiscriminate destruction of trees and forests.
The upcoming summit on Education, part of the UN Secretary General’s ambitious agenda, can truly bring accountability and participation to the inevitably new ways education will be imparted in the future.
With the latest United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Report revealing that much progress toward the SDGs has been reversed, the UN has focused on how to amplify the goals and hold member states accountable for tackling them amid current crises.
The start of the “Decade of Action” to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has also marked the start of an unprecedented period of overlapping crises.
Long a means for powerful nations to influence developing countries, development finance has gained renewed significance in the new Cold War. Unlike during the US-Soviet Cold War, the rivalry now is between mixed market capitalist systems.
Nature has diverse values for different people, but it is poorly evaluated, and this is driving the global biodiversity crisis, top scientists say in a new report.
Over the last past several decades marine fish stocks worldwide have been under intense threat. There have been many high sounding declarations and agreements to reduce catch effort, to use more environmentally friendly fishing gear, to prevent illegal fishing and to impose “closed seasons
” to allow stocks to recover.
Older persons are highly visible across Asia and the Pacific: they work in agricultural fields producing our food supplies, peddle their wares as street vendors, drive tuk-tuks and buses, exercise in our parks, lead some of the region’s most successful companies and form an integral part of our families.
As the Second Global Ocean Conference opens today in Lisbon
, governments in Asia and the Pacific must seize the opportunity to enhance cooperation and solidarity to address a host of challenges that endanger what is a lifeline for millions of people
in the region.