September 19, 2017

Pakistan’s Wildlife Protection: A Clarion Call

The birds have a special fly zone that leads to Pakistan commonly known as Indus Flyway Zone. (Photo via

When death and destruction pervade incessantly in a region, its cost is not limited to human beings alone. Environment has to pay equal share. This phenomenon partly defines ecological cascade in the hilly-forested belt along Pakistan-Afghan borders, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and some parts of Balochistan (provinces in northeastern and southwestern Pakistan), where rich stock of wildlife is increasingly exposed to ... Read More »

Finding the Urban Crisis Tipping Point

West Point slum, near central Monrovia in West African country of Liberia. (Photo by Tommy Trenchard/IRIN)

By 2015, three billion people will be living in urban slums according to UN Habitat. As the number of vulnerable people living in urban slums rises, aid agencies are struggling to identify the tipping point at which chronic urban vulnerability turns into a humanitarian crisis. IRIN spoke to aid staff to find out what they are doing about it. Accurately tracking vulnerability ... Read More »

Asia Pacific Islands May Disappear

Majuro, The Marshal Islands. (Photo by Stefan Lins, Creative Commons License)

The World Bank has recognized climate change as a key issue in its agenda. Millions of dollars have been pushed into climate change impact mitigation in the region. President Kim has acknowledged that the development of countries could go backwards if the issue is not addressed. And earlier this year, when talking about climate change to an audience in the Marshall ... Read More »

Climate Shocks Will Hurt Poverty Targets

As Tropical Cyclone Phailin made its way over the Bay of Bengal towards the eastern Indian coast on 12 October, with winds recorded at over 200kmph, a massive evacuation exercise was triggered in the coastal Indian states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. (Photo via Save the Children)

As climatic shocks worsen, disaster-affected populations will be driven deeper into poverty, exacerbating their vulnerability, in as soon as two decades – unless policymakers start to address the issue now, according to a new study from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). India did a “remarkable job” limiting the number of casualties from Cyclone Phailin, which slammed into the country’s eastern ... Read More »

Cyclone-Hit India Searches for Answers in Climate Change

In these coastal areas of Odisha, a substantial portion of the population also earns their day to day living by fishing. As can be seen from this photograph in the port of Gopalpur, which bore the brunt of the storm, many boats now stand damaged, endangering the livelihoods of thousands. (Photo by ADRA India)

The predictions in a report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, published in September this year, already seem to be coming true, with the rapidly deteriorating environment and climate change (in India), which has resulted in nature’s extremities such as the Phailin cyclone. Phailin attained the ‘category five’ status, affecting over 12 million people. It prompted India’s biggest evacuation ... Read More »

The Creeping Militarization of the Arctic

An arctic glacier. (Photo by Polar Cruise, Creative Commons License)

Russia’s announcement last month that it was considering reopening a major northern naval base and resuming regular naval patrols has revived a debate over the militarization of the Arctic. In early September, a convoy of 10 Russian warships – led by missile cruiser Peter the Great and accompanied by four nuclear-powered icebreakers – completed a voyage across the Arctic Ocean. Starting from Severomorsk near ... Read More »

Bhutan’s Paddy Crop Victim of Climate Change?

Paddy crop destroyed by rains in Bhutan. (Photo via Kuensel Online)

The forces of nature have overwhelmed some farmers in western Bhutan.  Within one week, their hope of a good harvest was turned into despair as the clear skies at the beginning of the week gave way to heavy rains last night (October 14). Farmers were so close to reap the fruit of a year round hard work, when they laid ... Read More »

Bangladesh’s Nuclear Plant — A Disaster in Waiting

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid being briefed about Rooppur nuclea power plant using a model of the project. (Photo via Dhaka Tribune)

The government is all set to get a nuclear power plant built, using Uranium 236 as the reactor fuel at Rooppur in Pabna. Of utmost concern is that Russia, which is due to supply the nuclear power plant, experienced the biggest number of civilian fatalities, injuries and related radiation sickness following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Officially, many hundreds were killed, ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Water Woes

Tarbela Dam remains Pakistan's largest water reservoir which was built in 1974. United States has been helping Pakistan in upgrading the power generation capacity from its reservoirs. (Photo by US embassy Pakistan)

While energy shortages, economic stagnation, terrorism and religious intolerance remain in the spotlight, water shortages pose one of the most significant threats to Pakistan. Regrettably, the Pakistani discourse on the subject remains in a state of delusion and is thus misdirected. In the 66 years since independence Pakistan’s per capita water availability has declined from 5000 m3 to 1000 m3 ... Read More »

‘Biblical’ Amounts of Rainfall Slam Colorado

Flood water gushing through a street in Estes Park, Colorado, on September 12. (Photo by Kevin Beaty, Creative Commons License)

Massive, historic, “biblical” rainfall cascaded through much of Colorado Thursday (September 12), leaving three people dead and one missing as of Thursday night as a result of the flooding. Up to 8 inches of rain fell across a hundred-mile expanse of Colorado’s Front Range, causing thousands to be evacuated as local streams turned into rampaging torrents. The heavy rains returned to the ... Read More »