Environment & Climate Change

Articles, stories and news about climate change and the environment.

10 Things We All Should Know About Indigenous People

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. To mark the occasion, the President of the UN General Assembly has convened a high-level event to take stock of progress and discuss what more needs to be done. It’s a good time for all of us to consider why it’s important to protect indigenous peoples’ rights. Here are 10 things we all should know about indigenous people. 1. WHEREVER WE LIVE, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ARE OUR NEIGHBOURS. There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. Indigenous communities are present in all geographic regions and represent 5,000 different cultures. 2. INDIGENOUS PEOPLE SPEAK AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THE WORLD’S 7,000 LANGUAGES. Indigenous languages ...

Protecting Our Planet’s Lungs

By UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME IN CLIMATE CHANGE, INDIGENOUS & RAINFOREST The Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) initiativeis a partnership between FAO, UNDP and UNEP. “We cannot live without our land,” says Cirila Tete, an indigenous leader living in the last refuge of the Harakmbut Amazonian people: the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve. As a member of Boca Isiriwe, one of the 10 native communities in this protected territory, Cirila defends the largest, most intact primary forest in Peru’s Southern Amazon region. The area is the source of livelihoods for more than 1,700 indigenous people, and Cirila is one of its stewards, protecting it from the ravages of mining and illegal logging. Because they breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, t...

Human security and natural disasters

The last few months have seen many natural disasters across the world, raising global attention on disaster risk reduction. In August, unusually heavy rainfalls flooded South Asia, killing over 1,200 people and displacing at least 2.5 million in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. On 7 September, the strongest earthquake to hit Mexico in a century killed 98 people, affecting 1.5 million in the state of Chiapas. Twelve days later, another major earthquake rattled Mexico City, killing over 300 people and injuring over 4,600. Three devastating hurricanes battered the Caribbean and the United States in August and September 2017, killing hundreds of people, displacing over 2 million and costing hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses. Two of these were Category 5 hurricanes, an exceptional ...

8 Reasons We Love The Ocean

Who doesn’t love the ocean? This beautiful and mysterious element spans the globe, connecting all countries and all people. Humans have many reasons to show the ocean some love by protecting its ecosystems and preserving its valuable resources. See for yourself: 1. IT PROVIDES US WITH FOOD. Global fish consumption has skyrocketed over the past decades. On average, a person eats four times as much fish today than in 1950. In fact, fish and seafood are the main source of protein for four out of ten people in the world. That’s why we have to make sure our ocean stays healthy, and fisheries are managed responsibly. Photo: UNDP India Photo: UNDP India 2. IT PROTECTS US FROM CLIMATE CHANGE. The ocean plays an important role in regulating our planet’s weather and climate. It abs...

Niue to create large-scale marine protected area

Area will encompass 40% of Niue’s Exclusive Economic Zone, second largest in the world in terms of proportion of EEZ protected Ridge to Reef Concept for Biodiversity Conservation and for the Enhancement of Ecosystem Services and Cultural Heritage in Niue. A boy swims underwater near a shell of giant clam at Beveridge Reef area, Niue. © 2016 Vlad Sokhin. All Rights Reserved. The tiny Pacific island country of Niue is now in the global big leagues of marine conservation. At the Our Ocean Conference in Malta on 5 October, the government of Niue announced its decision to create a large-scale marine protected area (LSMPA) encompassing 40 percent of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).The LSMPA of about 127,000 square kilometres will include the coastal waters of Niue and nea...

Biodiversity and human development: Letting Mother Nature do her job

One of the greatest strengths of the human development approach is its emphasis on viewing the world – and people’s lives – as complex, interconnected systems in which, to paraphrase the former Norwegian Prime Minister and Sustainable Development champion Gro Harlem Brundtland, “everything is connected to everything.” Recognizing that many major challenges are messy and multifaceted complicates the work of those who seek to fix them, requiring more collaboration between disciplines and line ministries. Linear problems are so much simpler. But ultimately recognizing the underlying complexity is an investment that will lead to solutions that work. One emerging approach that looks at such interlinkages is Planetary Health. Rooted in “understanding the interdependencies of human and natural sy...

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