Natasha Vizcarra, Global Landscapes Forum

Now in its second decade, the ambitious African Union–led restoration initiative known as the Great Green Wall has brought close to 18 million hectares of land under restoration since 2007, according to a status report unveiled by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at a virtual meeting on Monday, 7 September.

Biodiversity & Livelihoods
Forests
Minerals & Mining
Central America & Caribbean
Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Igarapé Institute

A new form of organized crime has recently been emerging in the Amazon: illegal mining. Miners fell trees, use high-grade explosives for blasting soils and dredge riverbeds. But the impacts go beyond environmental damage, bringing with it a slew of other social problems. Peace researcher Adriana Abdenur urges policymakers to improve coordination and argues that diplomacy may help prevent further conflicts, corruption and crime.

Biodiversity & Livelihoods
Capacity Building
Conflict Transformation
Development
Sustainable Transformation
Sub-Saharan Africa
Asia
Johan Kieft, UN Environment

Peat areas have played a pivotal role in conflicts globally, and have also been a point of contention during post-conflict recovery. Communities in Southeast Asia as well as in the countries of the Congo are facing challenges as finding political solutions for this problem.

Biodiversity & Livelihoods
Forests
Land & Food
Private Sector
Sub-Saharan Africa
Fidel C T Budy, The Conversation

Liberia’s largest palm oil producer, Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) pulls out of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) – how can rural communities cope with the impacts? The forests near GVL’s Liberian plantations are not only sacred sites of the region's people but also heavily populated with chimpanzees, leopards, pygmy hippopotamus and forest elephants which are significant not only to the local ecosystem but globally.

Climate Change
Climate Diplomacy
Co-Benefits
Development
Sustainable Transformation
South America
Central America & Caribbean
Daria Ivleva and Stephan Wolters

Diplomacy has an important role to play in creating an economy compatible with the target of staying below 2°C warming, agreed in Paris in 2015. At the climate conference in Marrakech (COP22) from 7 to 18 November 2016, dubbed the “implementation conference”, many new initiatives strengthened the impression that low-carbon transformation had gone mainstream.

Adaptation & Resilience
Climate Change
Development
Early Warning & Risk Analysis
Finance
Sub-Saharan Africa
Global Issues
Pradeep Kurukulasuriya
With climate change likely intensifying the effects of this year's El Niño, many parts of the world are experiencing longer droughts, more frequent floods and increasingly violent storms. This can have a devastating effect on poor and vulnerable households, underlying the critical role that climate adaptation efforts play in sustaining livelihoods. Ethiopia is facing its worst drought in 50 years. Two successive rainy seasons have failed, leaving up to ten million people in need of aid. As of May 2016, humanitarian funding requirements have increased to more than US$1.5 billion.
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.

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
Development
Environment & Migration
Security
Sub-Saharan Africa
Middle East & North Africa
United Nations

26 May 2016 – At a meeting today in the United Nations Security Council on the situation in the Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa, senior UN officials stressed that climate change plays a direct role in the region’s security, development and stability by increasing drought and fuelling conflict.

Forests
Land & Food
Private Sector
Sub-Saharan Africa
Nilima Choudhury

The UN hopes a new treaty signed by African governments, industry representatives and civil society organisations this week will slow levels of illegal timber trading in the Congo Basin.