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The war on drugs under way near Tumaco, Colombia, June 2008. But how come nothing like this happens in Colorado or Amsterdam? Photo: William Fernando Martinez / AP Photo via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

The 'war on drugs' is a war on culture and human diversity

Benjamin Ramm

28th April 2016

The 'war on drugs' is presented as a necessary battle against social evils, writes Benjamin Ramm. But from the Andes to the Caribbean, prohibition has criminalised both religious and cultural expression. And it's a war that is strictly for the global poor: people in Colorado can grow pot - so why not Colombians? more...
Loure's personal experiences, cultural background, and education put him in a unique position to lead the Ujamaa Community Resource Team (UCRT), an NGO that has championed community land rights and sustainable development in northern Tanzania for the past

Securing communal land rights for Tanzania's Indigenous Peoples

Sophie Morlin-Yron

25th April 2016

Commuting between land rights negotiations in the city and herding goats on the plains, Edward Loure is at once a traditional Maasai and a modern urbanite, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron. That ability to straddle the two very different worlds he inhabits has been key to his success at having 200,000 acres of land registered into village and community ownership - and his own 2016 Goldman Prize. more...
Obama spoke out at the COP21 climate conference. But his officials helped to thwart limits on emissions from international shipping at the IMP this week. Photo: ConexiónCOP Agencia de noticias via Flickr (CC BY).

Amid Paris Agreement fanfare world fails shipping emissions test

Stephen Buranyi / DeSmog.uk & Oliver Tickell

22nd April 2016

World leaders are meeting in New York today to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, write Stephen Buranyi & Oliver Tickell. But the world just failed a big test of its commitment to the Paris targets by deadlocking on IMO proposals to limit emissions from international shipping. more...
Dozens of people have been shot on sight in Kaziranga in recent years. The park guards are immune from prosecution. Photo: © Survival International.

India's 'shoot on sight' conservation terrorises indigenous communities

Lewis Evans

20th April 2016

The endangered Bengal Tiger and One-horned Rhino desperately need protection, writes Lewis Evans. But in India's Kaziranga National Park, 'fortress conservation' includes a brutal 'shoot on sight' policy that is terrorising local communities, many of them tribal. Indigenous peoples are the natural allies of conservation and need to be engaged in constructive solutions - not shot! more...
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim on fossil fuels: 'Do as I say, not as I do'. Photo: World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

World Bank doubles fossil fuel funding in four years

Victoria Seabrook / DeSmog.uk

18th April 2016

World Bank President Jim Kim talks a good talk on cutting support to fossil fuels. But what the bank does, writes Victoria Seabrook, is a whole other story. Not only is the WB Group still pouring money into the sector, but its funding doubled between 2011 and 2015. more...
Container ship MOL GRANEUR. Photo: ARTS_fox1fire via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UK must not let shipping sink the Paris Agreement!

Barry Gardiner & Richard Burden

18th April 2016

This week, the International Maritime Organisation could act to curb fast-rising emissions from shipping under the Paris Agreement, write Barry Gardiner & Richard Burden. But there are growing fears that the UK government may seek to delay and obstruct vital progress. more...
The famous Bunda Cliffs overlooking the Great Australian Bight. Photo: Matt Turner.

BP's deep sea oil exploration in South Australia - no way!

Graham Readfearn / DeSmog.uk

14th April 2016

BP's plans to explore for oil in the deep seas of the Great Australian Bight came under fire today at the company's Annual General Meeting in London, writes Graham Readfearn. The drilling would risk the ocean's rich marine wildlife - while blowing a massive hole in Australia's COP21 emissions targets. more...
With damming of the Tapajos river, a whole world of biodiversity, beauty and indigenous cultures will be destroyed forever. Photo: Canoe on the Tapajos by Clairex (CC BY-NC-SA).

European companies line up to bid for Amazon megadam

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace Energydesk

13th April 2016

Disregarding revelations of systemic political corruption in Brazil's hydropower sector, President Dilma Rousseff is ploughing ahead with a cascade of giant dams on the mighty Tapajos river. Among the companies touting to win huge construction contracts are France's EDF and Engie, and Germany's Voith and Siemens - in a consortium led by Brazil's Electrobras, which stands accused of high-level corruption over four other dam projects. more...
Still from John Pilger's film 'Utopia'.

Starvation in Australia: Utopia's dirty secret

John Pilger

12th April 2016

Australian governments have long waged a one-sided war on the continent's Aboriginal peoples, writes John Pilger. And now a new weapon has come into play: the starvation of the most remote, culturally intact communities. It's all part of a multi-faceted program of physical and cultural annihilation. And yet the world is silent. more...
Yanomami girl. Photo: Sam valadi via Flickr (CC BY).

The myth of the 'brutal savage' and the mindset of conquest

Stephen Corry

21st April 2016

The 'brutal savage' meme has enjoyed a resurgence in popular culture and establishment narratives, writes Stephen Corry, despite abundant evidence that it's fundamentally wrong. But it suits today's dominant mindset of conquest, conflict and colonialism all too well, and serves to justify the ongoing genocide and expropriation of surviving Indigenous Peoples today. more...
Time, tide and sea level rise wait for no one ... so are we ready? Photo: clappstar via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No planet for optimists: coastal flooding may come sooner and bigger than we think

Pete Dolack

8th April 2016

Of all the impacts of climate change, one stands out for its inexorable menace, writes Pete Dolack: rising oceans. And it's not just for distant future generations to deal with: new scientific studies show that people alive today may face 6-9 metres of sea level rise flooding well over a million sq.km including many of the world's biggest cities. So where's the emergency response? more...
Jin Liqun, President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, during the 'Asia’s Era of Infrastructure' session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 22nd January 2016. Photo: Monika Flueckiger / WEF / swiss-image.ch via Flickr (CC BY-N

New development banks propel environmental 'race to the bottom'

Bill Laurance / James Cook University

8th April 2016

New development financiers like China's Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are driving a global attack on the environment, writes Bill Laurance. With their fast track 'no questions asked' procedures, they are financing a wave of destructive mega-projects, giving the World Bank and other lenders the excuse to lower their already weak safeguards. more...

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The Thar desert in Rajasthan, India. Photo: Nick Kenrick via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Protecting God's Creation: churches commit to the green energy transition

Tim Gee / Christian Aid

19th April 2016

Pope Francis's famous encyclical on climate change is part of a broad global shift to environmental awareness among faith communities, writes Tim Gee. Christian churches and congregations are among those joining the fast growing fossil fuel divestment movement, switching to renewable energy, and reaching out to wider society to help protect our home planet, Earth. more...
South Water Caye Marine Reserve is one of seven protected areas that make up the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site, at risk from oil exploration and drilling. Photo: © Antonio Busiello / WWF-US.

Industrial expansion threatens half of natural World Heritage Sites

The Ecologist

6th April 2016

Precious World Heritage Sites that protect vital biodiversity and human cultures are at risk from oil decelopment and other industries. Under threat are not just nature, wildlife, land and water but the 11 million people who depend on the 114 sites' environmental quality for their livelihoods. more...
Never again! Texaco-Chevron's toxic oil legacy at Lago Agrio in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr (CC BY).

Ecuador's next Amazon oil battle: Indigenous Peoples on the front line

Kevin Koenig / Amazon Watch

4th April 2016

The rights of nature and of indigenous communities are enshrined in Ecuador's constitution, writes Kevin Koenig. But down in the Amazon the government is going full speed ahead with oil extraction on indigenous territories whose owners are committed to keeping their forests and waters pollution-free. A mighty battle is brewing that looks certain to come to a head this year. more...
Mother and daughter: bison in the Yellowstone National Park. Photo: Bill Lile via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Buffalo slaughter in Yellowstone and the death of a spirit animal

Louise Willcox

5th April 2016

North American buffalo are officially 'vulnerable to global extinction', writes Louise Willcox, yet the US National Parks Service and Montana are intent on their wholesale slaughter. In place of a complete ecosystem with wild-roaming buffalo and grizzly bears, wildlife managers are systematically favoring the over-abundant elk that drive the politically powerful hunting industry. more...
A young lion cub resting in Massai Mara National reserve, Kenya. Photo: Ralf Κλενγελ via Flickr (CC BY-NC)

Africa's lions and pastoralists share the benefits of community ecotourism

Grant Hopcraft & Sara Blackburn

5th April 2016

The conflict between lions and Africa's cattle herders goes back centuries, write Grant Hopcraft and Sara Blackburn - and lions have been the big losers in recent years. But where local people benefit from ecotourism, that ancient enmity can quickly be set aside. 'Community conservancies' around formal protected areas are helping both lions and indigenous communities to survive and thrive. more...
Wild coffee grows in these forests of the Ethiopian highlands - and nowhere else. Photo: Indrias Getachew.

Ethiopia's vulnerable tropical forests are key to securing the future of coffee

Fiona Hesselden, University of Huddersfield

24th March 2016

Coffee may be grown all around the tropics, writes Fiona Hesselden, but it originates in just one place: the 'coffee rainforests' of the Ethiopian highlands. We depend on the wild plants for new genes and varieties, yet the forests are falling fast to the advance of farmers. To preserve the forests and all their biodiversity, the original people of the forest must receive their just rewards. more...
Peoples' Representatives marching to Malacañang to confer the 'King Coal Award to President Noynoy Aquino, for his approval of 59 coal plants in the Philippines; 20th October 2015. Photo: AC Dimatatac / 350.org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Climate hypocrisy: JP Morgan's empty promises on coal

Assaad Razzouk

24th March 2016

JP Morgan's announcement that it's pulling out of coal is purest doublespeak, writes Assaad Razzouk. But it's not the only financier to engage in climate hypocrisy, as banks prepare to lend $5 trillion to build 2,440 new coal power stations. To deliver the Paris Agreement they - and the loans that would finance them - must be cancelled. more...
The Rio Blanco community at its blockade of the Agua Zarca dam. Photo: COPINH.

Gustavo Castro Soto and the rigged investigation into Berta Cáceres’s assassination

Beverly Bell

23rd March 2016

The Government of Honduras is intent on framing the only witness to the murder of Berta Cáceres as the one guilty of the crime, writes Beverly Bell. Gustavo Castro Soto, an eco-defender from Mexico, is now in effective detention in his country's embassy in Tegucigalpa in fear of his life, having himself been injured in the attack and seen the real assassin. The US Government must break its resounding silence. more...
The Denesuline have long suffered and protested against the treatment of their people from industrial organisations causing damage to their territories and the environment. Photo: ItzaFineDay via Flickr (CC BY)

Sacred land, unholy uranium: Canada's mining industry in conflict with First Nations

Committee for Future Generations

30th March 2016

For Saskatchewan, uranium is an important part of the economy, but for the province's indigenous peoples, the land is everything. It is filled with relationships between beings who dwell together in an interconnected web. Their traditional ecological knowledge is not just a set of terms or data, but a deep, broadly-viewed reality which contains systematic respect for all creation. more...
A COPINH protestor with Honduran policeman. Photo: Felipe Canova via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Berta Caceres colleague murdered in Honduras

The Ecologist

16th March 2016

Less than two weeks after the murder of Honduran eco defender Berta Caceres, another indigenous leader has been shot dead during the violent police and military eviction of 150 families from the settled community of Rio Chiquito. International funders of the controversial Agua Zarca hydro project are now backing out.. more...
t was European colonialism and slaughter on a huge scale that marked the beginning of the end of Africa's iconic wildlife. Yet in mainstream narratives, the conservation heroes are all white, and Africans are either poachers, squatters or loyal servants.

Lies in conservation: the truth about big-game hunting and African nature reserves

Navaya ole Ndaskoi

14th March 2016

Media furore over the shooting down of a helicopter in Tanzania masks a bigger picture of commercial hunting and evictions of indigenous tribes in the name of wildlife, writes Navaya ole Ndaskoi. It's time to rethink 'white saviour' mythology and develop new models of conservation that respect and engage with African communities, recognise their achievements, and inspire a new generation of conservation heroes. more...
Fenced with barbed wire: Blackfeed Indian tipis near the Glacier Nation Park, where the NPS is excluding the Indians from their rightful access to the Park and its resources, in clear breach of an 1895 contract. Photo: Bon via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

A century of theft from Indians by the National Park Service

Kollibri terre Sonnenblume

29th March 2016

George Catlin's original vision of national parks saw them as providing a refuge for 'man and beast' alike, writes Kollibri terre Sonnenblume, giving Indians a home in the 'freshness of their nature's beauty'. But soon the National Parks Service was violating promises, treaties and contracts as it perpetrated over a century of land theft from America's Indian tribes. more...
Berta Cáceres, Honduran indigenous and environmental rights campaigner. Photo: Goldman Environmental Prize.

Berta Cáceres: her fight for human rights in Honduras continues

Verenice Bengtsson

8th March 2016

Last week the environmental and human rights activist Berta Cáceres was murdered by gunmen in an early morning attack on her home which may have been carried out by or in collusion with state agents. Now her friend and colleague Gustavo Castro, himself wounded in the attack and the only witness to Berta's murder, has been detained for questioning. more...

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