Plastics have boosted our economy because they are versatile, cheap and durable. Yet, thanks to these same traits, in the course of establishing a US$750 billion global industry, we have also created a massive problem. Rivers are filled with plastic garbage. Plastic bottles soil beaches. Masses of plastic are floating in the ocean. Birds become entangled in plastic pieces, and whales’ stomachs fill with plastic debris. Plastics can harm humans, too, by releasing toxic additives.
A paper published last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tests the hypothesis that climate related natural disasters may be part of the cause of conflict in countries with high ethnic fractionalization.
With the failure of July 14-15 talks held between India and Pakistan to settle concerns raised by the latter over the former’s dam projects (Kishenganga and Ratle) over the Western rivers (Jhelum’s tributary and Chenab respectively) of the Indus Basin (allocated to the latter under the Indus Waters Treaty), Pakistan has now decided to take the matter to the International Court of Arbitration (ICA), based in the Hague. While the political and legal battles over the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) continue to create headlines in the region, and across the world, there is another time bomb ticking beneath the surface.
The International Expert Forum (IEF) is a series of seminars meant to facilitate dialogue between experts and policymakers on peace and security. Meeting in Stockholm this past May, the forum explored the connections between environmental issues, peacebuilding, and conflict while considering how environmental governance can aid in peacebuilding. The summary brief produced after the forum provides a useful snapshot of a fast-changing field of study.
Extreme weather increases the risk of armed conflict in ethnically-diverse countries, a new study suggests.
“No single SDG or the SDGs as a whole will be successfully implemented if we do it within silos.
Earlier this month, armed clashes between competing factions of South Sudan’s government broke out in the capital Juba, a day after the nation’s fifth anniversary of its independence. The conflict dates back to political events and factional fighting that first emerged in 2013.
The eye catching headlines are familiar. “Water Wars” are imminent or already underway in the latest drought or dam-building hotspot. Such “wars” often extend to farmers battling over irrigation diversions, but at times countries are the players. Senior leaders are often quoted suggesting transboundary water theft constitutes a casus belli. Security officials are obliged to investigate.
One fear of climate change is that more variable weather conditions will lead to violence and chaos in some places. But looking at it methodically, do erratic weather conditions actually lead to violent conflict and political instability? Not necessarily.
While natural resource development can generate economic success, it can also increase the likelihood of conflict, particularly in Africa. Ongoing violence in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta is a good example of the so-called “resource curse” in action. In response, African governments continue to grapple with how best to use their resource endowments to foster both economic opportunity and peace. At a time of much soul-searching for the United Nations, there is a unique opportunity to put responsible and effective resource development at the heart of African peacebuilding. But how might local communities take greater ownership of these processes?
They did it. They actually did it. The British voted against the European Union and in favor of “splendid isolation”. What will Brexit mean for European climate and energy policy? How will it affect the dynamics of greater climate protection that we are taking pains to maintain in the wake of Paris?
On June 29, 2016, President Barack Obama, President Enrique Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met for the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS) in Ottawa, Canada, and committed to improving the continent’s com
The UK must address a number of urgent risks due to climate change, the government’s climate advisers have warned.
Between 1961 and the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Iraqi Kurdistan’s quest for independence has led to the violent death of an estimated 180,000 people. At least 12 independent political groups represent the Kurdish minority in the north of the country. These groups have pursued wildly different strategies to reach their goals, some orchestrating terrorist attacks or larger-scale violence, others choosing education and propaganda campaigns, the provision of social services to gain popular support, and demonstrations.