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Brazil heading in right direction

Image by Hans Schwarzkopf from Pixabay   Following the news that deforestation in the Amazon dropped nearly 34% in the first six months of 2023, July saw a year-on-year decline of 60%. The exact data is available on Deter satellite alert system (great especially for all Geography students). This rapid progress proves how important political leadership and will is in making good decisions for the future of the environment. The new government has actively chased and penalized illegal loggers, miners and land grabbers as well a created new conservation areas and made clear which areas are considered indigenous land (indigenous peoples usually live in balance with nature). In this week’s regional summit, hopefully the other South American rainforest countries -  Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname - will  take inspiration and be able to implement similar policies at home. National action plans, an international scientific panel and cl . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Food Systems Transformation

Image by billy cedeno  from Pixabay   As part of the UN Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment, the Secretary General, António Guterres, has released a Call to Action in which he emphasises how much food is wasted and yet how many people still face hunger as a daily trial, and even starvation. Point five is shocking: “..the number of people facing hunger and food insecurity has risen since 2015, exacerbated by the pandemic, conflict, climate change and growing inequalities.  258 million people in 58 countries faced acute food insecurity in 2022, an increase of 34% compared to 2021.  45 million children suffered from wasting.  Agricultural households constitute up to two-thirds of people living in extreme poverty worldwide. Under current trends, 575 million people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030.   Projections show that by that time, approximately 600 million people will be hungry – 7% of the world’s pop . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Image by Filmbetrachter from Pixabay   Why carbon capture and storage will not solve the climate crisis any time soon (The Guardian) Antarctica is missing a chunk of sea ice bigger than Greenland – what’s going on? (The Conversation) 4 factors driving 2023’s extreme heat and climate disasters (Eco-Business) Climate-resilient homes in Bangladesh aim to put communities first (Eco-Business) Glass Or Plastic: Which Is Better For The Planet? (greenqueen) G20 climate talks fail to deliver emission cuts despite leadership pleas (CHN) Explainer: What caused the record rainfall in Beijing and northern China? (reuters) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Hundreds of Millions Exit Multidimensional Poverty - Report

Image by: Kasun Chamara from Pixabay    The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) (University of Oxford) have published a report measuring multidimensional poverty. According to them, 25 countries halved their Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in four- to twelve-year periods. This is great news which also demonstrates that halving poverty within 15 years (SDG target 1.2) is possible. In India, 415 million people exited poverty between 2005 and 2021. In China, 69 million left poverty in just four years from 2010 to 2014. Other countries which halved their multidimensional poverty rates include Cambodia, Congo, Honduras, Morocco, Serbia, and Vietnam. Additionally, the countries with data for 2021 to 2022 demonstrate that poverty reduction momentum “may have persisted during the pandemic,” according to a UNDP press release. However, 1.1 billion out of 6.1 billion people across 110 countries still live . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

International Day of Friendship

Image by: StockSnap from Pixabay   Since 2011, the UN has had an Observance on 30th July each year to remind us of the truth that friendship between people (and peoples) can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. Often conflict is born from ferar and uncertainty. The more we interact with and know others, the less likely conflict is to occur and the more likely we are to share and to build an equitable approach to planetary life. The Golden Rule is much much easier to apply when we consider people friends, and many have said that the Golden Rule is in some ways the only rule humans need to achieve their aims. As the UN states: “The resolution places emphasis on involving young people, as future leaders, in community activities that include different cultures and promote international understanding and respect for diversity. To mark the International Day of Friendship the UN encourages governments, international organizations and civil society gr . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Vegan diet has just 30% of the environmental impact of a high-meat diet, major study finds (The Conversation) Net-zero hotels realistic, but industry 'too fragmented' for global pledge: Sustainable tourism council chief (Eco-Business) We can’t afford to be climate doomers (The Guardian) Scientists predict a collapse of the Atlantic ocean current to happen mid-century (ScienceDaily) Report Details Historical and Present-Day Per Capita Emissions by Country (greenqueen) Food Footprint: Which Diet Creates The Least Amount Of Food Waste? (greenqueen) G20 divisions over key climate goals pile pressure on Cop28 hosts (CHN) Climate scientist finds new way to measure the Earth's ability to offset carbon emissions (ScienceDaily) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Getting beyond politics

Image by: By United States Department of State   John Kerry, the ex-secretary of state of the US and current US Climate Envoy made the very good point this last week of the need to get beyond politics when it comes to addressing climate change. After a couple of weeks that saw a wide range of extreme weather events around the entire northern hemisphere destroying property, business, infrastructure and taking lives, it may finally be coming home to even the hardest skeptics that climate is changing, that weather will become more extreme and that humans will suffer. That alone may take them beyond the arguments of why it is changing which has driven so much avoidance to date and get them simply solution oriented. In attempting to get the US and China to co-operate more, Kerry is addressing two countries who are responsible for 40% of all emissions globally. They also wield the most influence among many other countries. So if they can overcome their political differences to pro . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Understanding time in the race against climate change

Image by: günter – from Pixabay   There is a fascinating article in The Conversation (Understanding time may be the key to the race against climate change by Ruth Ogden) which taps into something many of us can acknowledge and see but often feel powerless to address – humans are really bad at long-term, large scale solutions to the problems needing this approach. Some are better than others of course – witness the much longer-term planning of a centralized government like China compared to those on short-term electoral cycles like the US. Ogden takes it further though to add another layer, again which many of us may be aware of but unsure how address it, which is that our perception of time varies both internally and between people. So time is a slippery customer (does it even exist or is it a human construct) which is difficult to attain consensus on regardless of how real or how regular it may be. She highlights some of the reasons for time being so . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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