In Our World: 14 February 2013 (dams, storytellers, energy ‘long reads’ and more)
"In Our World" relates to IIED's world of environment and development. It connects us with what’s going on in both the real world and online worlds. As we develop this new feature its content and length will vary – so do let us know what you like and don’t like about it.
From the Forests
- Global Witness says the World Bank is in denial about its contribution to logging in tropical rainforests after it ignored criticism from its own independent evaluators.
- Maya Thatcher, on the CIFOR blog, says China and Vietnam need to improve the cost-effectiveness of programmes that pay farmers who help protect forests, watersheds and other ecosystems.
- Leaked documents reveal that gas company Pluspetrol is targeting the protected Manú park in Peruvian Amazon -- a region where biodiversity 'exceeds that of any other place on Earth'
Plenty More Fish?
- The Global Ocean Commission hopes so. It launched this week, with prominent co-chairs from Costa Rica, South Africa and the UK. Fisheries scientist Callum Roberts explains why it matters. IIED researcher Essam Yassin Mohammed sets out the Commission’s main areas of focus, and asks whether it will work given that there are already more than 30 international frameworks and agreements on sustainable fisheries management alone.
- Both Peru and Venezuela have declared interest in hosting next year’s COP20 climate change conference of parties to the UN climate change convention. Guy Edwards explains why he thinks Peru would be a better candidate.
- Meanwhile, the convention’s secretariat has announced efforts to ensure more countries benefit from its Clean Development Mechanism.
- Back in the unreal world, reports Suzanne Goldenberg, anonymous billionaires donated US$120m to more than 100 US groups working to discredit climate change science.
- President Mwai Kibaki rejected a law that would have created a Kenya Climate Change Authority (KCCA).
Spot the Environment
- Britain can no longer afford to spend its foreign aid money "maintaining the status quo" in developing countries, said overseas development minister Justine Greening. Here’s the full speech.
Evidence of Development?
- Duncan Green’s final thoughts on “The Great Evidence Debate”
- On 14 February, the Committee to Protect Journalists released Attacks on the Press: Journalism on the World's Front Lines, a yearly assessment of the state of press freedom worldwide.
- A case in point: On 5 February, Somali police arrested the secretary general of the Somali Media for Environment, Science, Health, and Agriculture and detained him without charge for seven days. He is now out on bail.
Stories Flow From Asia’s Rivers
- By 2015, water consumption by coal and chemical industry in China’s dry, western areas is set to use up a quarter of the water that flows each year in the nearby Yellow River.
- China has announced plans to build dams on three major international rivers: the Brahmaputra, the Mekong and the Salween. Here’s a reaction from Brahma Chellaney in the New York Times.
- Journalist Li Jing reports in the South China Morning Post on the plans to dam the Nu River in Yunnan province - eight years after Premier Wen Jiabao suspended the plans out of environmental concerns. Chinadialogue reports that campaigners plan new investigations into the plans.
- In Myanmar, environmentalists have called for the formation of a river conservation commission to cover all the countries rivers following the establishment of the Irrawaddy River Conservation Commission on 6 February
Long Reads for Energy-Heads
- Oil, Money, and Secrecy in East Africa, by Tom Rhodes
- Gassed in Pennsylvania: Green Jobs, Black Men, and the Dirty Hope of Fracking by Brentin Mock
- The most influential climate science paper today remains unknown to most people, says Katherine Bagley
Stories and storytellers
- Curtis Brainard at the Columbia Journalism Review has a published a profile of Ensia, the University of Minnesota’s new magazine and website that is designed to meet “a growing demand for trusted, solution-focused communication about environmental topics.”
- Mićo Tatalović, news editor at SciDev.Net, warns that press releases may be tempting but they miss the wider picture in science journalism.
- Lawrence Haddad ponders how media narratives disengage the UK public from international development, and explores ways to change the conversation.
Mike Shanahan is IIED’s press officer.
In Our World is a new blog series. Each week it will publish links to top content about environment and development that we have seen online in the past week. You can subscribe to the RSS feed using this link.