Feature Story

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.


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.


At more than 4,000 metres above sea level, Nuñoa is a remote town surrounded by mountaintops and treeless, dry Puna, an Andean steppe ecosystem.

Due to poor soils, short growing seasons, and limited rainfall, most varieties of crops are impossible to grow at this altitude, and therefore locals primarily keep livestock.

As a result, Nuñoa is known as the world capital of the Suri alpaca, a rare breed of alpaca, known for its very soft and expensive fibre.


By Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary-General’s special envoy for the ocean


In the past decade, the African elephant population has declined by an estimated 111,000, according to a 2016 report, primarily due to poaching.

Malawi, identified by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as a “country of primary concern”, has lost 50 per cent of its elephant population since the 1980s.


By André Hoffmann, vice-chairman, Roche Holding Ltd

Business has shaped the world in pursuit of profit and growth with an apparent disregard for consequences, other than financial ones. The process of value creation has been extraordinarily successful in creating wealth through satisfying consumers’ needs and wants. The world’s fortune is at a historical peak: its economy has never been so highly valued. So, by some measures, the model can be considered a success. But at what cost?


Behind Uganda’s lush beauty, climate change is looming large. Dubbed "the Pearl of Africa" for its stunning nature, this verdant east-African nation is struggling to deal with the prolonged dry seasons and more intense rainfalls that have become the new normal. 


The mountainous pasturelands of Azerbaijan form part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range and offer great beauty and great potential.

With more than 40% of the country’s population currently engaged in the agricultural sector ensuring the health of the pasturelands, and the animals that graze on these lands, would allow Azerbaijan to realize that potential.

Recently, these pasturelands have been experiencing human-caused degradation and negative climate impacts.


Naryan-Mar (is a sea and river port town and the administrative centre of the Nenets Autonomous District in Russia’s far north, on the coast of the Barents and Kara Seas. It is a region of stark beauty, featuring a distinct taxon of polar bears and bountiful wildlife.

Russia straddles eight biomes: polar deserts, arctic and sub-arctic forest tundra, taiga, broad-leaved forests, steppe, semi-arid and arid zones.


The son of a beekeeper, Emmanuel Kajugujugu grew up learning how to harvest honey in the village of Rega, nestled in the hillside around the Gishwati forest in Rwanda’s northwest.

But beekeeping was never enough to survive on, so people would often sell wood that they had harvested from the forest, or clear trees to create pasture for cattle grazing to supplement their income.