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Climate Change
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Asia
Dhanasree Jayaram
After weeks of speculation, India finally ratified the Paris Agreement on October 2, 2016 which is also the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, more popularly known as the “Father of the Nation”. This symbolic gesture by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team makes India the 62nd country (out of the 180 countries that signed the Paris Agreement in 2015) to deposit its legal instrument of ratification to the United Nations (UN) Secretary General.
Adaptation & Resilience
Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Energy
Water
Asia
Liu Qin

Chinese scientists call for countries to work together to reduce emissions of black carbon which is causing glaciers to retreat on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, reports Liu Qin.

Biodiversity & Livelihoods
Climate Change
Asia
Dhanasree Jayaram

On 9 August 2016, India’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Anil Madhav Dave, informed the Lok Sabha (lower house of the Indian Parliament) that, according to an Oxford University study, approximately 136,000 climate change-related deaths are projected in India. This is primarily due to decreased food production. He went on to quote figures from a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, published in 2014, which pins the principle causes of death between 2030 and 2050 on malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

Climate Change
Conflict Transformation
Development
Security
Sub-Saharan Africa
Global Issues
Asia
Austin Miles, Guest Writers

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.

Climate Diplomacy
Land & Food
Sustainable Transformation
Water
Asia
Dhanasree Jayaram, Manipal University

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.

Security
Water
Global Issues
Asia
Geoffrey Dabelko

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.

Adaptation & Resilience
Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Minerals & Mining
Sustainable Transformation
Asia
Dhanasree Jayaram

India is all set to embark on exploration and other developmental activities pertaining to polymetallic sulphides in the Indian Ocean after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Modi approved the signing of a contract between the Minister of Earth Sciences and the International Seabed Authority (ISA), that formalises India’s exclusive rights for exploration in the Central Indian Ridge, and South West Indian Ridge in the Indian Ocean for 15 years. India is not the only country that is actively tapping into the resources of the region, or is attempting to do so. China, South Korea and Germany have also been granted permission to prospect for polymetallic nodules and sulphides, increasing the potential for competition in the region.

Climate Change
Energy
Land & Food
Water
Asia
Dhanasree Jayaram
The ongoing drought conditions in India have affected 256 districts in 10 different states and more than 300 million people. Another figure quoted by the Minister of Rural Development and Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation stands at 313 districts in 13 states. In many parts of the country, acute water scarcity and water stress have created severe economic and social distress, including the loss of crops, farmer suicides and rural-to-urban migration. Indeed, the situation is so precarious that the Supreme Court (the apex court in India) has stepped in to direct the central government to declare the drought a humanitarian disaster and to establish a consolidated fund and national response force to deal with the drought conditions.
Adaptation & Resilience
Biodiversity & Livelihoods
Climate Change
Development
Sub-Saharan Africa
South America
Global Issues
Asia
Andrew Taber, New Security Beat
Chichaucancha1

Over the past decade, the number of undernourished people around the world has declined by around 167 million, to just under 800 million people. However, this positive trend glosses over a stark reality: Food insecurity is increasing in the world’s mountains. This pattern has been under-recognized by development experts and governments, a dangerous oversight with far-reaching social and environmental repercussions.

Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Development
Environment & Migration
Global Issues
Asia
Sreya Panuganti, New Security Beat
Burkina-Faso-shelter

2015 was a historic year for international commitments to sustainable development, climate change action, and new kinds of peacebuilding. For governments and policymakers, now comes the difficult task of living up to those commitments.

Security concerns, like ISIS and a revanchist Russia, tend to dominate people’s attention, but less sensational challenges to stability and economic development are piling up as well, threatening to overwhelm humanitarian budgets and prompting governments to shift funding from development to emergency aid.

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