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Humanity, for the first time, has become an urban species. The number of people living in towns and cities has grown more than fivefold since 1950 and a decade ago overtook those living in the countryside. And this dramatic transformation is continuing to accelerate.

By 2050 urban areas will have gained another two billion people, and two thirds of humanity - overwhelmingly rural throughout its previous history - will live in them. Nearly 90 per cent of this increase will take place in Asia and Africa.

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Not long ago, Ethiopia was known for drought and famine. But now it is gaining an increasing international reputation for revitalising its land and growing more food. It is pioneering measures to reverse the degradation, which  affects one third of the world's agricultural land.

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As COP23 international climate talks continue in Bonn, Bhutan has launched a ground-breaking US$13.9 million Global Environment Facility (GEF) project aimed at enhancing the resilience of communities and protecting the country’s unique and rich biodiversity in the face of a changing climate.

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It is a small country in the distant Himalayas, known for being one of the happiest places on Earth. But Bhutan also is one of the most important players in the global fight against climate change.

Bhutan’s ranking in this regard is due to it being the only country in the world to commit to remaining carbon neutral, meaning it absorbs as much carbon dioxide as it emits into the atmosphere.

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The 23rd Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 23), also known as the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference, is underway in Bonn, Germany.  According to the UNFCCC, the meeting aims to launch nations towards the next level of ambition needed to tackle global warming and put t

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The Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, or GPSC, announced an important development during their 2nd annual conference this week: India is establishing its own platform for sustainable cities, to mirror the expanding initiative.

India’s announcement at the conference – attended by 200 mayors and other municipal officials, academics, and business leaders –marks significant progress for the platform, established only last year in Singapore.

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Maps of the Brazilian Amazon in 2000 and 2010 show unmistakable signs of dramatic change. Indigenous lands and several categories of protected areas now occupy millions of hectares, forming a consolidated landscape of conservation. But it might not have been so.

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In the last two years something incredibly positive has happened. The often-criticised United Nations has given the world the biggest gift: the Sustainable Development Goals. The Global Goals have moved the conversation about sustainability from “why?” to “how?”. The facts are incontrovertible – we must act, now – and the Goals lay out the agenda. Working out how to find solutions for the sustainability challenges of energy, cities, food systems, waste, water and mobility is now on everyone’s agenda.  

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Indigenous people are disproportionately represented among the destitute; they constitute approximately five per cent of the world's population, but make up 15 per cent of the world's poor. The majority of them have historically faced social exclusion and marginalisation. Their levels of access to adequate health and education services are well below national averages. And they are especially vulnerable to the consequences of environmental degradation.

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The 2nd replenishment meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund (GEF-7) was held earlier this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, discussing the future direction of the GEF to tackle the drivers of environmental degradation.

The two-day meeting opened October 4 with a keynote address by Dr. Gemedo Dalle, Minister of the Environment for Ethiopia, who highlighted his country’s sustainable development plans, and “commitment to support the vison and objectives of the GEF”. 

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