Feature Story

Hundreds of millions of people in Asia rely on rice not only as a staple but as their main source of nutrition. But new research suggests the rice they eat will become less nutritious due to rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

The study found that rice exposed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide contains lower amounts of several important nutrients.

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The intricacy, precision, and complexity of Azerbaijani carpets makes it difficult to believe they’re the work of human hands.

Kamala Nesrullayeva, a third generation carpet-weaver from Lahij village in the mountains of Azerbaijan, was taught to weave when she was 5 years old. She set up her loom atop her mother’s dowry rug – a rug knitted by her grandmother. As her son sits at Kamala’s loom to show his weaving skills, 4 generations of Azeri culture is captured in the moment. 

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Liberia’s rainy season lasts about half the year, cutting deeply into livelihoods of artisanal fishing communities. During this time, fishermen and women are left unable to fish, and fish caught before the rainy season would spoil due to the poor and substandard preservation facilities. Lack of refrigeration and access to electricity cost fish processors large percentages of catch.

At best, these months were frustrating due to the lack of income. At worst, it was a season of hunger.

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By Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

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.

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People and the sea coexist in happy harmony near the blue waters of Sindhudurg, Maharashtra, in western India. Fishermen set sail for the day’s catch as the sun gleams on the calm waters. Dolphins surface in the distance while a tour group peers to get a glimpse. The relationship between people and the sea features in myth and legend, art and literature.

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"We, as Pacific Voyagers, are on a journey, sailing to an island in the future and navigating by the values of our ancestral past. Our ancestors understood that the health of the oceans reflects the health of the people. When we truly acknowledge this insight, when we are aware of the extensive threats to the ocean, and when we care about the future of our children, the only logical step is to create a new vision, a sustainable sail plan based on values of interconnectedness, respect and stewardship."

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Bhopal, known as the City of Lakes, in Central India, is home to approximately 2 million people. Every day, this city generates about 480 to 500 tonnes of waste, a problem exacerbated by rapid population growth and industrialisation. Fourteen percent of this waste was dumped at Bhanpur Kanti, a wasteland north of the city centre covering 30 acres, where it was sorted by about 2,000 unorganized waste pickers. These waste pickers, of which about 85% are women, work under tough conditions and are frequently shunned and chased off.

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Sang-e-Nawishta village is located in Mussahi district, one of the poorest districts in Kabul province. 

Mussahi is just 25km from Kabul City, but a world away from the city’s metropolitan bustle. It takes over an hour on rough roads to travel from urban Kabul to the outskirts of Mussahi.

With the dramatic mountains of Khak-e-Jabar to the east, Mussahi also borders Ainak on the southern side – an area of great archaeological value that contains the remains of an ancient settlement, with over 400 Buddha statues, stupas and a large monastery complex.

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By Fokko Wientjes, vice president nutrition in emerging markets & food systems transformation, Royal DSM

Not long ago, major news publications reported a study about the health benefits of red wine. A little later, others reported that alcohol, even one glass of red wine, is bad for you.

I am worried. Not about wine, about the way science is reported.

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Diver Ulrich Banboche packed the schooner on a recent morning to go out to sea in search of sea cucumber. To catch these prized bottom feeders, the 29-year-old will plunge 30 to 35 meters down in the warm opal waters of the South West Indian Ocean.

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