MEXICO: Efficient Transport Needed for a Cleaner Environment

Policies for higher fuel efficiency in vehicles could contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of transportation, which is responsible for 23 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, according to experts at a meeting in the Mexican capital.

The Suape Industrial Port Complex is in a process of constant expansion.  Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: Suape Port Complex, the Locomotive of the Northeast

Silvio Leimig was 18 years old and had just earned his driver's licence when he visited Suape, a port 40 km from his home in Recife, the capital of the state of Pernambuco in Brazil's Northeast region, in the early 1980s.

Arctic sea ice.  Credit: Christof Luepkes, courtesy of the Alfred Wegener Institute

Arctic Melt Stirs Economic Ambitions

The possibility of exploiting the hitherto inaccessible natural resources of the Arctic Ocean is becoming increasingly tangible with the thawing of the North Pole, much to the alarm of European scientists.

Pipelines that transport grains from the Suape port. In the background, Brazil

BRAZIL: Logistics Drives Tardy Industrialisation in Northeast

The steel and oil industries are still finding new frontiers for expansion. In Brazil's impoverished semiarid Northeast the key is not, like in China, cheap labour power or abundant raw materials, but logistical advantages.

Giant water lilies (Victoria amazonica) in Bolivia's Moxos plains. Credit: Photostock

BOLIVIA: Rainforest Road Will Have Environmental and Cultural Impacts

A richly biodiverse rainforest the size of 3,000 soccer fields in central Bolivia will be the first victim of the road planned to run through the Isiboro Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS), say environmental activists.

Unloading containers in the port of Pecém.  Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: Industrial-Port Complex Fuels Growth in Desolate Northeast

The port of Pecém in Brazil's impoverished Northeast region received a large order to unload and store cement factory equipment imported from China. The port authorities were unable to accept the original order, as the cargo would have occupied 40,000 square metres of storage space, nearly half the total available.

Traffic jam of trucks at Jaciara, 140 km from Cuiabá, caused by repairs to BR-364 road.  Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: Soy Boom Drives Westward Expansion of Railroads

Despite challenges like high interest rates and high household electricity tariffs, the Brazilian economy has been growing at the highest rates seen in decades. Another problem that, although it has not stood in the way of growth, must be overcome is the costly use of roads for transporting farm products – an issue that is being addressed by the expansion of railway networks.

BRAZIL: Nuclear Subs to Defend Oil, Project Global Power

Plans for a Brazilian nuclear submarine that had been postponed since the 1970s are beginning to materialise, as the nuclear-propelled sub is regarded as a strategic necessity to guard Brazil's deep water oil reserves, and to project global power.

Rob Davies: South Africa's huge trade imbalance with the rest of Africa cannot be allowed to go on forever. Credit: South African Department of Trade and Industry

Q&A: “Africa Can Provide More Than Minerals in South-South Trade”

South-South co-operation is firmly on Africa’s agenda. Leading the way is South Africa, which has recently joined up with Brazil, Russia, India and China’s BRIC formation to form a new global grouping of emerging markets, known as BRICS.

"Rural women don

Gender Indicators for Global Climate Funds Still an Afterthought

Of the millions of dollars spent on climate change projects in developing countries, little has been allocated in a way that will benefit women. Yet, in Africa, it is women who will be most affected by climate change.

Women-only bus in Guatemala City.  Credit: Danilo Valladares/IPS

GUATEMALA: Women-Only Buses Against Sexual Harassment

"We are all safer here; it's great because this way there are no men groping you," Jaqueline Escobar, a sales executive, told IPS on a bus that is exclusively for women, a service against sexual harassment that is being tried out in the Guatemalan capital.

CHINA: Trains on a Dubious Fast Track

The novelty of the super-fast ride on China’s bullet train never seems to wear off. On board of the inter-city train connecting the capital with the port city of Tianjin 117 km east you can buy an arm-long model of China’s prestige train and more than two years since its launch there are still many enthusiastic takers.

Topographic work on the interoceanic corridor. Credit: Courtesy of Asociación Poder Para Todos

GUATEMALA: Future Interoceanic Corridor Will Rival Panama Canal

Guatemala will become a hub of connection and logistics for world trade when a highway-rail cargo transport corridor linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is completed.

Lend Your Car, Save, and Save the World

The world's more than 850 million cars and small trucks are parked 20 to 22 hours a day. Why not use these vehicles more efficiently by letting other people drive them when the owners aren't, asks Robin Chase, CEO of Buzzcar, a car- sharing network to be launched shortly in France.

Activists protest destruction of Khimki Forest. Credit: Kester Kenn Klomegah/IPS

ENVIRONMENT-RUSSIA: Activists Protest Destruction of 500-Year-Old Forest

Environmentalists and rights campaigners have mounted pressure on the Russian government to rescind the decision to demolish more than 500-year-old woodlands to make way for the construction of a new super-highway linking Moscow with the country's northern capital, St. Petersburg.

UNCTAD's James Zhan: Emergent powers such as China and Brazil provide LDCs with more opportunities to attract investment. Credit: Isolda Agazzi/IPS

AFRICA: Investment Growth Benefiting Only Some Poor States

While foreign direct investment in least developed countries (LDCs) in Africa has risen sharply over the past decade, most of it went to resource-rich economies and had little impact on employment creation.

AFRICA: Coalition Against the High Cost of Living

In Burkina Faso, Niger, Kenya, Uganda: governments are worried by soaring prices - and by newly confident and enraged civil society. Governments are being challenged to take decisive action, despite lacking the tools to address rising global oil prices. Their responses could have important consequences for their legitimacy and survival.

ZAMBIA: High-Tech Border Post Transforming Trade

A few weeks ago, a truck driver got the shock of his life when his employer called from South Africa asking why he had siphoned fuel from his vehicle while awaiting clearance at the Kasumbalesa Border Post between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

EL SALVADOR: Drivers Risk Extortion, Murder by Gangs

Zigzagging along the streets of the Salvadoran capital in his bus, José Nuila is much more worried about avoiding an attack by youth gang members than about making his way through the complicated tangle of traffic.

Recharging the electric Nissan Leaf. Credit:

Israel Leads the Electric Charge

A woman takes the driver's seat, turns on the radio, sliding through broadcasts of the tit-for-tat battles between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas till she finds a quiet music station.

Migrant Workers Caught in Whirlwind of ‘Arab Spring’

Migrant workers caught in the crossfire of the ongoing upheavals in Bahrain and Libya highlight the need to develop international migration policies based on migrants' rights rather than the economic interest of labour sending and receiving countries, knowledgeable sources say.

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