Feature Story

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By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate

It has been two years since the historic Paris agreement to limit global temperature rise was struck. Now, on its second anniversary, the One Planet Summit hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron, is rightly putting finance at the centre of its agenda. Financing the transition to a low-carbon economy is fundamental to securing a more sustainable, secure and prosperous future.

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By Catherine McKenna, minister of environment and climate change, Canada

When you look up at a cloudless blue sky, you might think it goes on forever. And yet, our planet’s atmosphere is actually made up of several layers. One of these, the ozone layer, is among the atmosphere’s most vital components. It acts like a shield, absorbing UV radiation from the sun and protecting us from its harmful effects.

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By Mathis Wackernagel, CEO and co-founder of Global Footprint Network

Households and governments who want to succeed track both expenditure and income. Businesses similarly keep a keen eye on their balance sheets. So what does the physical balance sheet of our biggest household – the Earth – look like?

 

The income side would tell us how much our planet provides in matter and energy. The expenditure side would tell us how much material and energy people use – or what we call humanity’s ecological footprint.

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Jordan’s 9.1 million people are facing serious environmental challenges. Land degradation due to over-exploitation of vegetation, and unsustainable agriculture and water management practices, have resulted in lack of fodder for livestock and reduced land productivity. This in turn has forced many of the country’s nomadic Bedouin people to abandon pastoralism and move to cities. 

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Serious pollution in a lake next to the mega-city of Manila is forcing a rethink by development planners to protect water quality and fish stocks.

Laguna de Bay is the Philippines’ largest lake, and supplies Metro Manila’s 16 million people with a third of their fish. It also supports agriculture, industry and hydro-power generation, and is a welcome getaway for rest and recreation for many Filipinos. Millions more live around its 285-kilometre shoreline.

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Scattered across 12 countries, only an estimated 4,000 snow leopards remain, placing this endangered species at risk of extinction. Staving off extinction cannot be achieved by fiat. Only by addressing larger, underlying issues like rural poverty, climate change, illegal wildlife trafficking, shrinking habitats, and lack of research and awareness can the number of snow leopards be rehabilitated.

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Tunisia’s Tamerza Oasis is the largest of more than 200 oases located across the country’s four southern governorates. These oases, which account for more than 40,000 hectares of agriculturally productive lands, have a long history of cultural and economic importance to the country.

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Kenya's Chyulu Hills host not just rich wildlife and beautiful landscapes but a groundbreaking partnership to conserve biodiversity and combat climate change between its people and the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.