In the Inner Mongolian county of Horinger, Northwestern China, afforestation efforts have transformed a barren, dusty landscape into a pine forest. Planting trees has diminished the sandstorms, boosted biodiversity and improved the environment generally. As the climate emergency worsens, the potential for planted trees to draw carbon out of the atmosphere is being re-examined. What can the world learn from the Chinese experience with afforestation?
A new USAID report focuses on the intersection of climate exposure and state fragility worldwide. It finds that the factors that make a country vulberable to large-scale conflict are similar to those that make it vulnerable to climate change. The report thus offers a way for global audiences with an interest in climate and security to identify places of high concern.
Peat areas have played a pivotal role in conflicts globally, and have also been a point of contention during post-conflict recovery. Communities in Southeast Asia as well as in the countries of the Congo are facing challenges as finding political solutions for this problem.
In many parts of South and Southeast Asia, high population density and vulnerability to climate change combine with low levels of household resilience and poor governance to increase security concerns and the potential for political instability.
The EU’s decision to phase out palm oil biodiesel is likely to backfire, with negative repercussions not just on the countries concerned but also on international relations and the climate. The EU should hence invest more heavily in climate diplomacy in order to find a real solution to problems such as deforestation and wildlife loss.
Acute competition to access valuable resources in forested areas in Myanmar has, amongst other factors, contributed to large-scale deforestation and environmental degradation. This has had disastrous consequences for local communities dependent upon these forests for food, water, fuel, shelter and income.
Fresh water is an indispensable resource for human life and ecosystem health. A considerable amount of fresh water resources accessible for human use are shared between two or more countries. Around the world, there are 286 transboundary river basins, and 148 countries include territory within one or more of these basins. Contrary to expectations, internationally shared water resources have long acted as a source of cooperation rather than conflict between riparian states.
Women are at the forefront of climate change, facing disproportionately high risks to their health, education, food security and livelihoods. The gendered impacts of climate change are particularly strong in the case of climate-induced disasters and are exacerbated in contexts of violent conflict, fragility and extreme poverty. At the same time, women can be important agents of change in adaptation and peacebuilding. Disaster management can provide opportunities to overcome traditional gender roles and strengthen women’s voices in decision-making.
The most important and anticipated climate change conference in years is finally underway. In some ways, as Bill McKibben and Andrew Revkin have pointed out, its success is relatively assured thanks to the number of major commitments countries have already made. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see here.
Haze from Indonesian fires has again blanketed Singapore and Malaysia. Prevention strategies are improving, but will likely take years to become truly effective.
A commentary by Jackson Ewing from the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS) of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore.
REDD+, a global framework designed to reward governments for preserving forests, has pledged nearly $10 billion to developing countries. But minorities, indigenous people, the poor, and other marginalized groups that live in forest areas often end up paying more than their fair share of the costs of environmental cleanup and conservation while getting less in return. What can be done to change this?
Asia has a unique opportunity to fight climate change and lift many more people out of poverty if it invests more in the communities living in its forests, experts said.
As a result of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's ongoing visit to Brazil, China and Brazil Tuesday signed a joint statement on addressing the climate change issue together for a common vision of sustainable development.
Global cities like Singapore have the unique opportunity to contribute in the learning from and sharing of best practices in urban sustainability and liveability. As a city-state that considers itself a living laboratory for greener and cleaner urban living, Singapore has been making strides in developing itself into a model for a green urban economy. Over time it is likely to also become an important test-bed for climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies from which other cities and urban centres could potentially learn.
Climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts face many obstacles in fragile and conflict-affected societies.