The Dongria Kondh, Xikrin Kayapo, and Penan peoples have a lot in common. Not only are they all indigenous groups facing potentially damaging extractive and energy projects on their tribal land, they also share the dubious distinction of being compared to some quirky blue hominids from a certain Hollywood blockbuster. Just a casual Google search for ‘real life avatar’ will reveal a slew of articles arguing that indigenous groups across the world are nothing less than the real life versions of the Na´vi, with harmonious relationships with nature and exotic tribal costumes to boot.
I recently met with a Member of the Bangladesh Parliament to discuss the potential for mitigation in the agricultural sector under IIED’s work on the economics of climate change in the agricultural sector. Agriculture produces 10–12 per cent of total global emissions but also has considerable mitigation potential — 70 per cent of which is in developing countries — and I expected the Honourable Member, a well known climate change champion, to back the cause. But he did not seem entirely convinced. Why should decision makers listen? What’s in it for them?
Designing business models that reach and benefit poor women working in agriculture can be a challenge for businesses.
But is that surprising?
It’s a politically and ethically charged debate. Can hunting animals really contribute to wildlife conservation and biodiversity objectives? On first glance, hunting as a means of conservation seems like an inherent contradiction.
Striking a deal at this month’s UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico will largely depend on negotiators’ ability to settle stormy disputes, particularly between the developed and developing world, over six key issues.
I have been thinking a lot about ‘time’. It’s been prompted by three things which remind me that, while we need to be realistic about how fast we can build a fairer, more sustainable world, there are some signs of progress.
Dubbed “mother of the nation”, Dilma Rousseff was elected as Brazil’s first female president this month. But this has been an election of two women. Taking the reins at a time of increasing growth, prosperity, and public works expansion in Brazil, will one woman’s touch alone be enough to bring new ways of combating destruction of the Amazon?