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Latin America’s Rural Exodus Undermines Food Security PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 30 June 2017 15:31

By  alt

This article forms part of special IPS coverage for the World Day to Combat Desertification, celebrated June 17.

Livestock seek shade on a small farm in the arid centre of the northern Argentine province of Santiago del Estero, where men are forced to migrate to cities or to seek seasonal work in more fertile regions, fleeing from drought and poverty. Credit: Fabiana Frayssinet/IPS

BUENOS AIRES, Jun 16 2017 (IPS) - In Latin America and the Caribbean, which account for 12 per cent of the planet’s arable land, and one-third of its fresh water reserves, a number of factors contribute to soil degradation and to a rural exodus that compromises food security in a not-so-unlikely future.

These figures, and the warning, emerge from studies carried out by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) ahead of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, celebrated on June 17. This year’s theme is “Our land. Our home. Our Future,” highlighting the link between desertification and rural migration, which is driven by the loss of productive land to desertification.

Over the past 50 years, the agricultural area in Latin America increased from 561 to 741 million hectares, with a greater expansion in South America, from 441 to 607 million hectares. This growth led to intensive use of inputs, degradation of the soil and water, a reduction of biodiversity, and deforestation.

Fourteen per cent of the world soil degradation occurs in this region, and it is worst in Mesoamerica (southern Mexico and Central America), where it affects 26 per cent of the land, compared to 14 per cent in South America.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 July 2017 22:13
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Sanders: Corbyn Surge in UK Shows World Rising Up Against Austerity, Inequality PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Friday, 09 June 2017 11:58

 

"People in the U.K., the U.S. and elsewhere want governments that represent all the people, not just the 1%," Sanders said

by
 
alt

Sanders said he has been "impressed" by Corbyn's "willingness to talk about class issues." (Photo: Getty)

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/09/sanders-corbyn-surge-uk-shows-world-rising-against-austerity-inequality

Responding to the results of the U.K. election, which commentators have already deemed a "political upset" for the ages and a stunning backfire for Prime Minister Theresa May, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday congratulated Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the British people for "rising up against austerity and massive levels of income and wealth inequality."

"Globalization has left far too many people behind." —Sen. Bernie SandersPeople "all over the world" are fighting the same battle, Sanders added, concluding:

People in the U.K., the U.S. and elsewhere want governments that represent all the people, not just the 1%. I congratulate Jeremy Corbyn for running a very positive and effective campaign.

Corbyn's strong run—which culminated in an additional 31 seats for Labour and a hung parliament—was, in many ways, reminiscent of the Sanders "revolution" in the United States, which posed a stark challenge to "the billionaire class" and a political establishment flush with corporate money. Sanders himself drew the comparison between his campaign and Corbyn's recently on a three-day U.K. speaking tour, during which he praised the Labour leader's "willingness to talk about class issues."

"These problems are not unique to the U.S.," Sanders noted. "Globalization has left far too many people behind. Workers all over the world are seeing a decline in their standard of living. Unfettered free trade has allowed multinational corporations to enjoy huge profits and make the very rich even richer while workers are sucked into a race for the bottom."

Corbyn utilized similar messaging. Under his leadership, the Labour Party this year published one of the most left-wing manifestos in its history, adopting a slogan Sanders backers surely recognized: "For the many, not the few."

It is unsurprising, then, that British voters were seen donning Sanders apparel as they cast their ballots for Labour.

Peter Bloom, writing for Common Dreamsargued the campaigns of Sanders and Corbyn both successfully harnessed similar forces, and thus "exposed the beginnings of a potentially new political mainstream."

Bloom concluded:

Corbyn's strong campaign is no small political achievement. Historically, he has altered the public discussion on major issues of the economy and foreign policy. He has also shown that a full throttled progressive agenda is not only not suicidal but potentially downright popular.

For many, Corbyn's remarkable surge in recent weeks and his performance in an election that was prematurely viewed as a landslide opportunity for the Conservatives is a strong indicator of the electoral viability of left populism and of the strong desire for systemic change.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 June 2017 14:21
 
Saving the Oceans, Saving the Future: Officials Tackle Marine Pollution PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Tuesday, 06 June 2017 06:13

 

Opening Ceremony of UN Ocean Conference. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

 

Opening Ceremony of UN Ocean Conference. Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

 

UNITED NATIONS, Jun 6 2017 (IPS) - The oceans’ health is only getting worse and the cycle of decline must be reversed, said representatives at the opening of a high-level UN conference.

Approximately 5,000 representatives from governments, civil society, and the private sector from around the world have gathered at the UN for its first ever Ocean Conference, a high-level meeting which aims to address and mobilize action to improve the state of oceans.

“The health of our oceans and seas are inextricably linked with the health of our planet and all life on earth,” Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the full General Assembly hall.

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Re-Connect with Nature Now… Before It Is Too Late! PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Monday, 05 June 2017 10:49

Re-Connect with Nature Now… Before It Is Too Late!

ROME, Jun 5 2017 (IPS) - Now that president Donald Trump has announced the withdrawal of the world’s largest polluter in history—the United States, from the Paris Accord, perhaps one of the most specific warnings is what a United Nations independent expert on rights and the environment has just said: “We should be fully aware that we cannot enjoy our basic human rights without a healthy environment.”

Speaking in Geneva ahead of the World Environment Day on Monday 5 June, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, John H. Knox, said “We should all be alarmed at the accelerating loss of biodiversity on which healthy ecosystems depend.”

We depend on healthy natural ecosystems for so much – nutrition, shelter, clothing, the very water we drink and the air we breathe, Knox reminded. “And yet, natural forest area continues to decline, marine ecosystems are increasingly under siege, and estimated populations of vertebrate animals have declined by more than half since 1970.”

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Nuclear ban treaty: Will governments take on the nuclear arms merchants? PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow   
Thursday, 01 June 2017 08:15

 

Photo: Rob van Riet speaking today at the UN in Geneva. 

Press release: June 1, 2017

An international prohibition on the financing of nuclear weapons could help reverse the nuclear arms race and be a powerful tool in delegitimizing nuclear weapons, according to nuclear disarmament campaigners participating in  UN negotiations on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 June 2017 22:51
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