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Environment

NDA’s second term: What it means for India’s environment?

by Mayank Aggarwal • Since 2014, the National Democratic Alliance government has carried out a series of changes in India’s environmental laws aiming to simplify them and promote ease of business. Many of such changes were marred by controversies as well. • As the NDA government returns to power with a mandate bigger than 2014, activists fear dilutions of the ... Read More »

Plastic polluter: Brazil recycles ‘almost nothing’

Standing among sacks of used supermarket shopping bags, soft drink bottles and detergent containers, Evelin Marcele is scornful of Brazil’s efforts to recycle plastic waste. “Almost nothing,” said the 40-year-old director of CoopFuturo, a sorting center for recyclable material in Rio de Janeiro, where plastic makes up 60 percent of the roughly 120 tonnes of garbage delivered to the facility ... Read More »

Organic croplands emit 40% less GHG, mitigate climate change

With a share of 10–12% in carbon-dioxide equivalents (CO2-eq.), agriculture contributes substantially to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Considering indirect emissions from agriculture-related activities such as fertiliser production and land use change, this share can be up to 30%. In 2005, the agricultural sector contributed 56% to the emissions of the anthropogenic non-CO2 GHGs, i.e. nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane ... Read More »

Bangladesh to dredge 10,000km waterways: Minister

Netrokona, May 23 (UNB) – The government has taken a plan to dredge some 10,000 kilometres of waterways to strengthen the country’s water transport system, said State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Thursday. “Water transport system is a cost-effective, comfortable and environment-friendly means of communication. But, we’re gradually losing the traditional waterways due to navigability problem,” he said. ... Read More »

3000 river encroachers in Kushtia being evicted

Kushtia, May 23 (UNB) – The local administration has identified at least 3,000 encroachers who have illegally occupied the banks of rivers and canals in the district, obstructing their  water flow. These encroachers have built houses, shops and markets on the rivers and canals. Now, the authorities concerned are trying to free the banks in six upazilas of the district. ... Read More »

2-metre sea level rise ‘plausible’ by 2100

Global sea levels could rise by two metres (6.5 feet) and displace tens of millions of people by the end of the century, according to new projections that double the UN’s benchmark estimates. The vast ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contain enough frozen water to lift the world’s oceans dozens of metres. The expansion of water as oceans warm ... Read More »

Preserving biodiversity vital to reverse tide of climate change

The food people eat around the world is becoming “alarmingly homogenous” according to UN data, even though access to a wide variety of nutritious food has never been greater. That warning comes as the world marks the International Day for Biological Diversity on Wednesday, which this year highlights the impact of environmental neglect on food security and public health. Biodiversity ... Read More »

Global hunger threatening families because of climate change

By Siddharth Chatterjee Nairobi, Kenya, May 2019 (IPS) – There is barely a corner of human life that will not be affected by climate change, and some of its impacts are already being felt. Consider this, 821 million people are now hungry and over 150 million children stunted, putting the hunger eradication goal, SDG 2, at risk. Today 15 May, ... Read More »

Act urgently on climate change: Urban 20 Group urge G20

Mayors and Governors of U20 cities, including Tokyo, Berlin, Jakarta, Rome and Osaka will present the Urban 20 Communiqué to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ahead of G20 Summit in Japan U20 urges G20 leaders to ensure greenhouse gas emissions peak by 2020, reduce substantially by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. Tokyo, Japan (22 May 2019) — Mayors from ... Read More »

Long life to their majesties, the bees!

By Baher Kamal Madrid, May (IPS) – Amazingly organised social communities, bees ensure food chain. ‘Bee’ grateful to them… at least on their World Day! While the (surprisingly) still called homo sapiens continues to destroy Mother Nature, bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, carry on performing their vital role as one of the most marvellous, unpaid, ... Read More »

Bonda tribe of India’s Odisha hit by changing climate

by Tanmoy Bhaduri The Bonda people, living in hilltop villages on the Kondakamberu mountain range in Odisha, are one of the 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in the state. • Rising temperatures and deforestation, along with poor development and insurgency by radical groups, have impacted the traditional practices and lifestyle of the Bonda tribal community. • Community members are ... Read More »

BD ministry disfavours cases against land acquisition notice

Dhaka, May 21, (UNB)- The Land Ministry on Tuesday issued a notice embargo on filing cases over land acquisition before seeking amends from the deputy commissioner. It says that there is no scope to receive any complaint after issuing four notices under the section 4 and 8 of the Acquisition and Requisition of Immovable Property Act (2017). Several cases filed ... Read More »

Court orders testing Wasa water from 34 points

Dhaka, May 21 (UNB) – The High Court on Tuesday issued an order to test Wasa water samples from 34 locations in the capital. The bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam ordered Wasa to provide Tk 1.7 lakh to cover the test expenditure. The local government secretary has been asked to collect the money from Wasa. ... Read More »

Police end Greenpeace blockade of BP HQ

London police said Monday they had detained all 10 Greenpeace activists who had blocked the entrances to BP’s global headquarters to convince the British energy giant to halt oil and gas exploration. The environmental organisation encased activists in five heavy containers that were manoeuvred into place during the night. Abseilers also set about installing a banner spelling out “climate emergency” ... Read More »

Guard against using chemicals on fruits: Hc asks govt

Dhaka, May 20 – The High Court on Monday directed the authorities concerned to form separate teams to monitor fruit markets and warehouses across the country so that none could able to use chemicals on fruits. The HC bench comprising Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader passed the order after holding hearing on a supplementary petition filed ... Read More »

Philippine cities facing ‘slow-motion disaster’

When Mary Ann San Jose moved to Sitio Pariahan more than two decades ago, she could walk to the local chapel. Today, reaching it requires a swim. The main culprit is catastrophic subsidence caused by groundwater being pumped out from below, often via unregulated wells for homes, factories, and farms catering to a booming population and growing economy. The steady ... Read More »

The monetization of garbage

By Stephen Nwaloziri Berea, Kentucky – As a child growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, in the late 1990s, I remember women roaming through my community and chanting in Yoruba, “onigo de o! Anra bata rubber ati ayo t’on jo.” This translates as “The bottle peddler is here! We buy rubber sandals and leaky (aluminum) pots.” Some families would separate their ... Read More »

Climate change is the battle of my life: UN chief

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres saw the frontline of “the battle against climate change” for himself on Thursday, by taking to the tropical waters of the South Pacific off the coast of Fiji, on a solar-powered boat. Mr. Guterres was greeted on board the Uto ni Yalo, a traditional emission-free ship built as part of a naval fleet that combines ... Read More »

84 Rohingyas rescued in drives; 5 traffickers arrested

Cox’s Bazar, May 18 (UNB)- Law-enforcers rescued 84 Rohingyas from Pekua of Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf upazila on Saturday while they were waiting to board boats heading to Malaysia. The rescued Rohingya comprise 31 men, 38 women and 15 children. Five human traffickers were arrested and handed over to police after filing case with Teknaf Police Station, said Lt Commander ... Read More »

Managing Dhaka’s congested traffic remains a distant cry

Dhaka, May 19 (UNB) – Road discipline in the capital remains as bad as ever even after observing many traffic weeks and awareness campaigns, and carrying out drives by law enforcers. Transport sector experts have identified poor traffic and bus management system, dysfunctional signalling system, reckless driving and evil race on roads by drivers among the reasons why the traffic situation ... Read More »

Cities for the people

By Abhas K. Jha Singapore – Dante’s Divine Comedy describes one level of hell (the City of Dis) as “Satan’s wretched city … full of distress and torment terrible.” He could well have been describing many modern-day metropolises. The world, especially Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, is experiencing a massive wave of urbanization. And yet it is occurring largely in the ... Read More »

A low-carbon Belt and Road

By Ma Jun and Simon Zadek Beijing – Discussions about climate action nowadays often focus on the largest past and current emitters. But, if one looks to the future, the biggest climate risks and opportunities lie in the more than 60 countries that have signed up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The BRI, which China launched in 2013, is ... Read More »

Europe should lead on climate action

By Connie Hedegaard Brussels – Since the massive mobilization effort that preceded the 2009 Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen, the world has begun translating words and intentions into real action on climate change. European leadership – from government, civil society, and business – has played a pivotal role in driving progress. Given how much remains to be done, ... Read More »

The rising tide of sustainable seafood

By Teresa Ish and Henrik Österblom Stockholm – McDonald’s. Hilton. IKEA. Each of these corporate titans enjoys an enormous customer base. But what most of their customers might not realize is that these companies are leaders in ocean stewardship: they all sell sustainable seafood. This is an important precedent – but it is not enough. When it comes to harvesting ... Read More »

A carbon dividend is better than a carbon tax

By Mark Paul and Anthony Underwood Anthony Underwood Sarasota – Climate change is the world’s most urgent problem, and in the United States, the left, at least, is taking it seriously. Earlier this year, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts, both Democrats, introduced a Green New Deal (GND) resolution, which offers a blueprint for ... Read More »

Save the whole planet from climate change in self-interest

Concluding a week-long visit to the South Pacific, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on the world’s decision-makers to make “enlightened” choices on climate action because “the whole planet” is at stake. “Over the past week, I have witnessed first-hand the impacts of climate change in the Pacific Island States”, the UN chief said in a statement concluding his visit ... Read More »

17 Rohingyas rescued while being trafficked to Malaysia

Chittagong, May 18 – The Bangladesh Coastguard rescued 17 Rohingyas from the St Martin’s Island while they were being trafficked to Malaysia on early Saturday. Five traffickers were detained from the Dakshin Beach area, said Lt Commander BNM Hamidul Islam, Coastguard’s assistant director (intelligence). “We raided the area after being tipped off about a human trafficking attempt,” he said. Seven ... Read More »

Life goes on under cloud of smog in Mexico City

Scientists say breathing the heavily polluted air in Mexico City these days is like smoking somewhere between a quarter- and a half-pack of cigarettes a day. But that has not stopped Oscar Chong from going out for his daily workout, despite four days of warnings from the authorities to avoid strenuous physical activity outside. “I’m addicted to exercise. If I ... Read More »

Stop Tuvalu and ‘the world from sinking’: Guterres

Tuvalu “faces an existential threat from sea-level rise”, the United Nations chief said during his visit to the Pacific island nation on Friday whose highest point is less than five metres above the waves. “We must stop Tuvalu from sinking and the world from sinking with Tuvalu”, Secretary-General António Guterres said in a tweet posted during his on-going trip to ... Read More »