The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 provides the foundation for citizens’ rights to participate in shaping their communities.
Less than a year after the adoption of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), non-government organizations (NGOs) are concerned about declining possibilities for participation, both at the UN and in national politics.
Last month, after receiving threats for opposing a hydroelectric project, Berta Caceres, a Honduran indigenous and environmental rights campaigner, was murdered. A former winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize for her opposition to one of Central America’s biggest hydropower projects, Berta was shot dead in her own home.
Funding to address the financial flows needed for adaptation and mitigation of climate change remains an issue of concern for the Caribbean.
“Water is at the core of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), but it is true that for a long time water and oceans issues have been marginalized in climate conferences, considering that 90 per cent of natural catastrophes are linked to water and 40 per cent of global population will face water scarcity from now to 2050,” stated Marie-Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, during the press conference at the launch of the #ClimateIsWater initiative at COP21. “It is through water that it is possible to measure climate change impacts,” she said.
Civil society organizations, known as NGOs, have for decades used their non-government status to prod officials, politicians and business on climate issues. Veteran campaigners Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, Kenya’s tree planters, India’s Chipko tree-hugging protectors and indigenous movements worldwide first raised the issues of protecting the Earth and its atmosphere.
Europe is in the throes of a refugee crisis and it’s not difficult to see that it does not quite know how to respond to it. By mid-October more than 600,000
people had reached Europe by sea.
African civil society organisations championing for climate justice have criticised the Intended Nationally Determined Commitments (INDC’s) presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, calling them “weak, inadequate and not ambitious enough.”
As the clock ticks towards the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) in Paris in December, African experts, policy-makers and civil society groups plan to come to the negotiation table prepared for a legal approach to avoid mistakes made during formulation of the Kyoto Protocol.
A three-day landmark U.N. Conference on Disarmament Issues has ended here – one day ahead of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests – stressing the need for ushering in a world free of nuclear weapons, but without a consensus on how to move towards that goal.
Bar Seed is the only female member in Somaliland’s 82-person Parliament, but activists hope upcoming national elections may end her isolation.
Anti-nuclear energy activists are up in arms, and have taken to vigils outside South Africa’s parliament in Cape Town to protest against President Jacob Zuma’s push for nuclear development.
Alexander Muyekhi, a construction worker from Ebubayi village in the heart of Vihiga County in Western Kenya, and his school-going children can now enjoy a tiny solar kit supplied by the British-based Azuri Technologies to light their house and play their small FM radio.
“We received a garden as our home, and we must not turn it into a wilderness for our children.”
People of faith, civil society groups, and communities affected by climate change marched together in Rome Sunday Jun. 28 to express gratitude to Pope Francis for the release of his Laudato Si
encyclical on the environment, and call for bolder climate action by world leaders.
The overwhelming majority of lobby meetings held by European Commissioners and their closest advisors are with representatives of corporate interests, according to an analysis published Jun. 24 by Transparency International (TI).
Genetically modified (GM) cotton has been produced globally for almost two decades, yet to date only three African countries have grown GM cotton on a commercial basis – South Africa, Burkina Faso and Sudan.
One of the promises made by the leaders of the world's seven richest nations when they met at Schloss Elmau in Germany earlier this week was an energy transition over the next decades, aiming to gradually phase out fossil fuel emissions this century to avoid the worst of climate change.
Whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden
and Julian Assange
are hounded – not by autocratic but by democratic governments – for revealing the truth about grave human rights violations. Nobel peace prize winner, writer and political activist Liu Xiaobo
is currently languishing in a Chinese prison while the killing of Egyptian protestor, poet and mother Shaimaa al-Sabbagh
, apparently by a masked policeman, in January this year continues to haunt us.
Nompumelelo Tshabalala, 41, emerges from her dwarf ‘shack’ made up of rusty metal sheets and falls short of bumping into this reporter as she bends down to avoid knocking her head against the top part of her makeshift door frame.