Reframing Rio

Michael Herrmann Credit: Courtesy of UNFPA

Q&A: The Road to Rio Goes Through Cairo

The U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) rightly believes the road to Rio goes via Cairo - and that sustainable development and population are inextricably linked.

OP-ED: Carbon Doxide Emissions on the Rise as the Kyoto Era Fades

At the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the latest on-site measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography reveal that global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations reached 391.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2011, up from 388.56 ppm in 2010 and from 280 ppm from pre-industrial times.

AGRICULTURE: Farm Animals Join Rio+20 Agenda

Human development and biodiversity will not be the only focus of the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June, for which representatives of hundreds of states and non- governmental organisations (NGOs) will gather to discuss sustainable development.

A recent study found that "zero percent" of federal funding of synthetic biology was going into risk assessment. Credit: Horia Varlan/CC By 2.0

In New U.S. “Bioeconomy”, Industry Trumps Environment

The White House on Thursday announced the formulation of the National Bioeconomy Blueprint, aimed at shoring up the U.S. commitment to bioscience-related research.

Blue Crab Revival Offers Hope for Ailing Fisheries

Authorities in Maryland and Virginia have rescued the Chesapeake Bay's blue crab from the brink of collapse, tripling its population in five years, by using methods that emerging crabmeat-exporting countries in Asia and Central America could emulate, scientists say.

Civil Society Determined to Have an Impact on Rio+20

Innovating and stepping up the pressure on governments are the bywords for civil society participation in the run-up to Rio+20, a conference with the ambitious goal of changing the way humankind relates with the planet.

Coming Together for Environmental Restoration in Haiti

In honour of Earth Day, we run an interview with Yves-André Wainright, who discusses ways that poor governance and the role of foreign donors have contributed to the country's environmental catastrophe.

Teddy Ruge Credit: Courtesy of Teddy Ruge

Q&A: Harnessing the African Information Renaissance

About 140 million Africans are now on the internet. With half of the population under age 15 and 70 percent of the population under 30, social media is becoming an important feature in the continent's development path.

OP-ED: The Road Less Traveled

The celebrated storyteller Mark Twain (1835-1910) wrote, "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover."

Farmer Selinah Mncwango is proud of her traditional sorghum seeds.  Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

South Africa’s Smallholders Lose Battle for Seed Security

In an almost ceremonial manner, Selinah Mncwango opens her big plastic bag and pulls out several smaller packets, each filled with different types of seeds: sorghum, bean, pumpkin, and maize. They are her pride, her wealth, the "pillar of my family," says the farmer from a village in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province.

U.S.: Trekking for Wild Florida

There was a time when big, yellow cats freely roamed the length of a wild Florida. Today, three medium-sized humans are trekking the length of this southeastern U.S. state - 1,000 miles of swamp, forest, ranchland and blistered feet - in hopes that panthers may one day be able to safely tread the same path.

Food Security Slipping Ever Further Away

Continuing near-record high food prices around the world are highlighting international inattention to a looming threat, observers here warned on Friday.

Deforestation in Brazil

Brazil Must Do More for Rio+20, Former Ministers Say

Former ministers, lawmakers and environmental experts in Brazil are urging the government to take a more proactive stance to prevent the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development the country will host in June from falling short of the standard set by the preceding summit.

U.N. in Last Ditch Bid to Finalise Rio+20 Action Plan

The Rio+20 sustainable development summit, scheduled to take place in Brazil in June, is billed as a key meeting of world leaders who are expected to renew their political commitment and approve a wide-ranging plan for a greener future.

Caribbean to Take Strong Stance at Rio+20 Summit

The mandate will be very clear. Caribbean Community (CARICOM) delegates are going to Brazil in June for the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development determined to show that it will not be business as usual.

Sascha Gabizon Credit: Courtesy of Sascha Gabizon

Reaffirmation of Women’s Rights Key to Rio+20 Success

The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, unanimously adopted by 178 governments at the June 1992 Earth Summit in Brazil, specifically recognised that "women have a vital role in environmental management and development."

Recycling cooperative member Andiswa Konco sorts garbage.  Credit: Kristin Palitza/IPS

The Business of South Africa’s Garbage

Nokwanda Sotyantya sits among heaps of garbage and patiently sorts through it, separating cardboard, plastic, glass, paper and metal, piece by piece. The recycled piles of trash are then weighed and sold to packaging manufacturers in South Africa that reuse the materials to create new products.

Lester Brown Credit: Courtesy of the Earth Policy Institute

OP-ED: Getting the Market to Tell the Truth

Moving the global economy off its current decline-and-collapse path depends on reaching four goals: stabilising climate, stabilising population, eradicating poverty, and restoring the economy's natural support systems.

OP-ED: Where Economic and Environmental Prosperity Meet

One of the lesser-known catalysts of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings was a global grain crop failure in 2010, caused by drought and flooding that year from Russia to Canada.

A view of passengers aboard trains connecting the suburbs of Kolkata, India. Credit: UN Photo/Kibae Park

U.N. Warns of Staggering Urbanisation in Asia, Africa

Asia and Africa will account for a hefty 86 percent of all increases in the world's urban population in the next four decades, the United Nations said in a report released Wednesday.

Giant papayas grown with the help of an underground reservoir in Laginhas, Pernambuco, in Brazil

Brazil Defends Credentials as Rio+20 Host

The government of Brazil, which will host the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June, defended itself from ecologists who lambasted its performance on the environmental front.

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