We know that advancing gender equality is one of the systems changes needed to achieve environmental gains – in fact, it is shown to be a driver of progress across many Sustainable Development Goals - but there is a lack of data and evidence about what works to succeed in this complex area.
On August 12, we celebrate World Elephant Day to raise awareness on the plight of the world’s elephant population. This is an important day for me, as the Program Manager of the Global Wildlife Program (GWP) that started two years ago to combat illegal wildlife trade across 19 countries in Asia and Africa.
How did a chemical supplier in Mozambique learn that its safety instructions were putting women and children in danger? How could female clam harvesters in Tunisia come together to create the first women’s trade union and go onto change national law?
Over the last few decades, Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) have been used to build transportation, energy, telecommunications, and other infrastructure throughout the world. Value chains were established to foster growth in these sectors and significant experiences gained. A sector largely overlooked for PPP investments is the tourism sector.
People are already consuming at a rate faster than the planet can replenish. Yet the world’s population is expected to grow from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050. This will considerably increase demand for energy, transport, buildings and food.
Our relationship with the ocean is at a crossroads. The decisions we take in the next five years will determine our future, our security, our very existence. They will make or break whole economies and dictate how and where we live. And there will be many more losers than winners should we ignore the stark signs of warming that the ocean is presenting.
You might care about the 100,000 marine mammals that die annually from plastic and you may be one of the 25 million viewers of the infamous straw-up-the-sea turtle nose video. Or it may simply be that you don’t want to eat and drink plastic, swim in trash or witness more shoreline devastation from flooding and hurricane force damage.
Let’s start with the good news. Humankind is living longer than ever before. Fewer of us are going to bed hungry. Improvements in diets and modern medicine have contributed to a 20-year increase in the average global life expectancy since 1960. The number of undernourished people has fallen from 1 billion in 1991 to 815 million today, even as world population has grown by over 2 billion.
Biodiversity is life, all life on earth. The air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink are all only possible as long as we have healthy biodiversity - rich species diversity. The remarkable diversity of flowers filling the house on special occasions, trees and birds that help make us restful. They all exist and give us life every day thanks to well-functioning ecosystems.
The ocean has shaped my life, from my beginnings in the outer islands of Fiji to my appointment last year as the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for the ocean. Like millions of others before me who have taken sustenance and succour from Neptune’s world, I know there is so much for which we should give thanks. And yet, over the intervening decades of my life, a quickening cycle of decline has been imposed on the ocean’s health by the ever-accumulating effects of harmful human activities.