The global soybean trade was worth about 9.5 billion of US dollars in 2000. By the end of this year – in 2020 – it is projected to exceed 60 billion. This is just one of the many figures that explains why the last two decades might be remembered as the Great Soybean Expansion, the period when soybean became one of the most traded commodities in the world – but also one of the most controversial.
COVID-19 and climate change are impacting all of us, but the dual disasters have a disproportionate impact on communities in emerging economies. These impacts are felt most acutely in rural areas, especially among indigenous communities and minority groups, and by women and others who are marginalized within those groups.
The global conservation community now faces the added challenge of Covid-19 on top of a longstanding set of complex conservation, sustainability, and development challenges. In the wake of this pandemic, return to business as usual is not a viable option. The existing systems and structures upon which conservation is based must evolve. Climate change, biodiversity conservation, and poverty elimination efforts have been further complicated by Covid-19, with the brunt of the pandemic borne most acutely by the poorest and most vulnerable.
From Mali to Iraq, people in conflict zones are proving especially vulnerable to climate extremes
An estimated 100,000 people died and livestock were decimated when a long drought hit West Africa in the 1970s.
Isa, a 61-year-old community leader from northern Mali, recalled: “At that time, we only had to search for food. We could move freely with our animals. Now, we can’t even search for food. We are forced to stay in place or move to cities because of the insecurity.”
In March, the Trump Administration released a new budget proposal that would cut funding to the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development by 28 percent. The proposal also reduces funding to the United Nations for ongoing climate change efforts.
The increasing number of salmon in the Skjern River in Denmark is a positive sign, as the Danish salmon is the only strain of wild salmon left in Danish rivers. Before the Skjern River Nature Restoration Project, the salmon had almost gone extinct owing to the state of the environment. The project area now offers ideal conditions for flora and fauna and has already acquired great natural value. In fact, it has already grown into a bird site of national importance.
This article was originally published through CSDS (Center for Social Development Studies) at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. It can be found at: https://www.csds-chula.org/publications/2020/4/28/critical-nature-are-chinas-dams-on-the-mekong-causing-downstream-drought-the-importance-of-scientific-debate
- The 21st century is seeing the impacts of modernisation of the previous century. The most apparent impact is climate change.
- Land is intertwined with the human trajectory and powers of access to land come from social, political or other kinds of dominance, writes Nikita Sud in this commentary.
- By recoginising the many lives of land, it allows us to better appreciate, and strengthen, political processes that are less extractive and centralised, and more democratic.
This is a special Earth Day Op-Ed by Michel Forst, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and Michael Taylor, the Director of the International Land Coalition Secretariat.
By Catherine Benson Wahlén, Thematic Expert for Human Development, Human Settlements and Sustainable Development (US)
Joren Verbist is a third-year undergraduate student undertaking a major in International land- and water management at the University of Wageningen (WUR). He is also currently carrying out an internship at the International Centre of Agriculture Research Dryland Areas (ICARDA), in Amman, Jordan. The below blog details some of his experiences, as well as preliminary information on his research.