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Tag archives for Development

Does it fit? Tsina Endor on making peace with the taboo in rural Madagascar

In the ancestor worshipping religion practiced across Madagascar’s 18 tribes, the zebu – a species of domestic cattle originating in South Asia – is integral to marking life’s milestones. When a child gets its first haircut, the clippings are stirred into zebu back fat and eaten by family members with a rum chaser; when a…

WWF’s Living Planet Report echoed on the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem on the planet composed of almost 3000 individual reefs. For decades, the Great Barrier Reef has enjoyed World Heritage Status and been synonymous with diving, tourism and with Australia. But the reef is under threat of industrial development projects. Text and Photos by James Morgan.

Political and Weather Climates are Changing, But at What Speed?

The weather in Washington, D.C. finally turned hot in September, just in time for Congress to resume. We enjoyed an unusually moderate summer this year, with many days topping out in the high seventies or low eighties. Plenty of sun. San Diego weather, you might say. Before September, we were missing about two full weeks…

The Last Spring: Protecting Florida’s Manatees

iLCP Fellow and Founder Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier, writes about her work with iLCP Fellow photographer Paul Nickels, doing a story on the Florida manatee. The Three Sisters Springs is one of the last remaining strongholds for this precious mammal. The warm waters that seep out of the ground year round are critically important to manatees during the cold winter months, when the water temperature drops below 68 degrees. In 2013 a record 829 manatee deaths were attributed to cold shock, underscoring the importance of these last few springs to this endangered mammal’s survival.

A Bottom-Line Focus For Solving Mining Conflicts

The lure of precious metals and other natural resources has long been a source of conflict in Latin America, from the Andes to the Amazon and most everywhere else.  But new research has begun to put a price tag on this conflict, and investors have started to respond. When the lives and livelihoods of Indigenous…

America Resilient

Since we last celebrated Earth Day a year ago, 29 states have experienced 99 Federal disaster declarations. Fires, floods, mudslides, hurricanes, and tornadoes have devastated the United States, causing billions of dollars of damage, destroying thousands of homes, and up-ending people’s lives.

The Penan Hunter-Gatherers of Sarawak

For the Penan of Sarawak’s rainforest, the raucous call of the white-crowned hornbill has long heralded dawn. Today, however, they are just as likely to be woken by the sound of chainsaws and falling trees. The tropical rainforest of Sarawak in Borneo, East Malaysia, is one of the most biologically rich forests on earth. It…

Tech & the Cheetah

Some regions of Kenya have better cell phone reception than the heart of San Francisco’s financial district.  This is no exaggeration.  One can easily make a call or text from the Maasai Mara National Reserve.  It’s changed the country’s economy, society in both rural and urban areas, and launched millions of voices onto Twitter and…

Australia and Pakistan: A Neglected Relationship?

How stronger ties are both politically expedient and economically advantageous for both countries.  In this article I partner with Sydney-based Australian writer Danielle Gehrmann who has visited Pakistan several times.  We collectively consider how to use ecological and economic incentives to build an unusual dyad of international relations between our two lands. Danielle Gehrmann and…

On the Eve of Political Upheaval, A National Park is Born

A young explorer travels through Timor-Leste investigating how this new nation is addressing the joint issues of conservation and development. There will be a lot of terrible public transportation.

Geography in the News: A New International Canal?

Guest Authors: Malavika Nidhi and Rahul Nagvekar, students of Mrs. Rita McMahon, Dulles High School, Sugar Land, Texas.* This invited Geography in the News article initially was posted on Maps.com’s website and was made part of its 900-article GITN archive. Permission to post here is granted by Maps.com and Neal G. Lineback and Mandy Lineback…

South Sudan: Oil, the Environment and Border Conflicts

In this guest-article, Dr. Tore Knos, member of the Disaster Aid USA  Response Team and its Board of Directors, and Dr. Michele Zebich-Knos, Professor Emeritus at Kennesaw State University and former Director of the International Policy Master’s Program, discuss the current situation in South Sudan and how long-term strife affects the environment. This blog post…

Pulsating Heart of Nature: How to Ensure Our Collective Bioculturally Resilient Future

  The remarkable variety of life’s interdependent phenomena and processes — what we call ‘diversity’ — is being eroded by the modern forces of homogenization. The rich tapestry — woven from a countless multitude of mutually reinforcing strands of biological, cultural and linguistic relationships — is wearing out. Our increasingly fatigued world is losing its…

Water Innovation Starts with the Farmer: Stockholm World Water Week

At the forefront of an important agricultural revolution in the developing world is not a leading scientist or a tireless advocate. Instead, the leader is a farmer.

His name is Purushottambhai Patel, from the state of Gujarat in Western India. He is a smallholder farmer with eight cows, three hectares of tobacco, rice, potatoes and sapota, and limited access to water.

Rather than tapping a large-scale water project for his farm, Patel uses the dung from his cows to generate biogas, which is then fed to a pump that runs partly on diesel. This novel arrangement saves him $400 a year in fuel costs, and the improved water supply enabled him to double his crop production. He also sells water to adjacent farms, further boosting local food production.

The pace of innovation in water management on small farms across Africa and Asia is remarkable. Using water more effectively, together with improved market access, can transform marginal subsistence agriculture into a thriving business opportunity. At the same time it can have a major impact on local food security and contribute to lasting poverty alleviation.

Driving True Economic Growth: Report From Aspen

  “Our fuel bill was $20 billion last year,” Sharon Burke, assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs, told a big crowd at the Aspen Environment Forum in late June. Burke explained that the U.S. Department of Defense also spends about $4 billion a year in electricity costs for its 300,000+ buildings…