The world’s 15 most at-risk nations for natural hazards are all coastal, tropical, and developing countries. NGOs and governments are spending billions of dollars to construct sea walls, levees, and other barriers to protect against risk. But unlike natural barriers, artificial ones can be easily destroyed by a single extreme weather event. SNAP is exploring how restoring coastal habitats can protect coastal communities and livelihoods, and reduce fatalities and loss of property.
Can deserts be turned back into arable land? Yes, according to the Sahara Forest Project. Their solution uses what we have enough of, like deserts, saltwater and CO2, to produce what we need more of: sustainably produced food, freshwater and energy.
Human feces, garbage, trash, all the good stuff that we try to ship off or tunnel out end up somewhere. We are getting better and better at turning that garbage into an asset, and then applying it to international development. Check out 10 innovations that are repurposing waste in the list below… no poop jokes, we promise.
World Environment Day (WED), observed annually on June 5th, strives to increase awareness about issues facing the environment. Sponsored by the United Nations Environment Program, WED has been celebrated for decades. This movement encourages individuals to take an active role in cleaning up their communities and help preserve natural resources for future generations.
Would you wear clothes made out of crab shells? Or use a wallet made from salmon leather? They aren’t your typical materials, but a new Alaskan start-up called Tidal Vision is working to make them a norm in the fashion industry.
In March of this year, the United Kingdom officially announced the creation of the largest marine reserve in the world. Covering 834,334 square-kilometers (roughly 3.5 times larger than the U.K. itself), it protects the waters around the Pitcairn Islands, which are home to over 1,200 different species. While marine reserves aren’t a new idea, this one changes the game by using satellite technology to monitor the area in real time.
Blue Ventures strives to work with coastal communities to improve and sustain marine conservation. By getting locals involved, they not only feel empowered, but become actively involved in a project that directly benefits them, indirectly benefits marine life as a whole, and ensures sustainability.
Recurrent drought in the Sahel has become the norm in the past decade, resulting in agricultural decline and periodic famine. There is general recognition that drought-resistant practices are critical, but conventional Western methods are commonly applied to solve these problems. The World Agroforestry Centre is using a technique, called farmer managed natural regeneration (FMNR), which promises to address the issue in a unique way.
The tragedy in Nepal has been devastating, and the road to recovery will be long. Through this, it is important to share some of the country’s many successes. As a country that many endangered species call home, Nepal has officially declared a second full 365-day cycle of zero poaching. From February 2013 to February 2014, not a single elephant, rhino or tiger was illegally killed. In 2011 they also officially declared that not a single rhino was illegally killed. This is a huge accomplishment, as the country boasts many animals that are commonly hunted, and illegally killed, for horns, tusks and pelts that sell for large sums in Asian markets.
Dogs have been used as trackers for hundreds of years: to hunt, to find missing persons, and to detect illegal contraband and bombs. Now, they are being used to help track down the illegal poachers that threaten African wildlife. The Big Life Foundation has recently launched the Big Life Tracker Dog Unit to fight poaching in East Africa, where elephants are regularly targeted for their tusks.