2019 has only just begun, but it is already hard to imagine that there will be other extreme weather events with disastrous consequences such as cyclone Idai happening again this year. In all likelihood, such events will continue to occur as 2019 rolls on. Idai is, once more, proof of how devastating and toxic the mix of climate change, extreme weather events and poverty can be: Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe – countries that rank low in human development but contribute very little to global greenhouse gas emissions – suffer from some of the worst impacts of climate change.
With the UN climate summit in New York at the end of September 2019 coming closer, the question of whether all countries are fully aware of the need for more immediate and additional efforts still remains. While at the very least some attention is being paid to this urgency (such as the ‘Fridays for Future’ movement), there are other risks which warrant more attention to prevent future humanitarian crises.
Thanks to the UN Environment Frontiers series, there is now a fresh and timely look on new scientific insights into the trends and challenges which may cause potential environmental and climate-related risks that we may otherwise neglect today. Among these risks (and sometimes promises) are, for example, gene-editing techniques which are advancing rapidly, the impacts of further degradation of climate-critical permafrost peatlands, and the risks of maladaptation to climate change. All these risks require policymakers to engage proactively and foresightedly to develop sustainable, long-term policy and governance planning for future generations.
To that end, the interactive ECC platform has been providing the most recent and sound information for more than 15 years. Part of these efforts has been the touring exhibition "Environment, Conflict and Cooperation", which has been displayed more than 50 times throughout since 2005in five different languages! The updated and expanded online version of the exhibition is now available online, and we hope that you will use it as actively as the other sections of the platform.
A new publication on SDGs and foreign policy, prepared by researchers at the German think tank adelphi, highlights a phenomenon I call this the ‘Great Splintering’ – the fracturing of political will for collective action on the global stage. This article outlines five steps we could take to revive multilateralism.
Satellite analysis shows ‘vanishing’ lake has grown since 1990s, but climate instability is driving communities into the arms of Boko Haram and Islamic State. Climate change is aggravating conflict around Lake Chad, but not in the way experts once thought, according to new research.
At a meeting of the Arctic Council, secretary of state Mike Pompeo refused to identify global warming as a threat, instead hailing an oil rush as sea ice melts. The US refused to join other Arctic countries in describing climate change as a key threat to the region, as a two-day meeting of foreign ministers drew to a close on Tuesday in Ravaniemi, Finland.
Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood, and about 2.6 billion people rely directly on agriculture. Deforestation, land degradation, and unsustainable management of ecosystems threaten those livelihoods and may contribute to resource-related conflicts and social unrest.