Feature Story

Vietnam was among the first countries to recognize the need for a domestic plan to control and remove Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), a class of chemical substances that are toxic, resistant to degradation, and easily transported through the environment via air, water, and migratory species. The Stockholm Convention, recognized by 180 parties, has the mission to protect the environment and human health from the threat of POPs.

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“Hace 20 años, en otoño hacía frío y pescábamos pulpo. Ahora, el clima ha cambiado y no hemos podido pescar. No sabemos qué hacer, pero necesitamos soluciones concretas para vivir en mejores condiciones.” – Jamal Zayoud, pescador, Djerba

Djerba y la mayoría del litoral de Túnez enfrentan un nivel de presión ambiental sin precedentes debido al cambio climático, que se agrava por el hecho de que las actividades humanas y las economías locales dependen en especial de los ecosistemas costeros.

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Healthcare workers are not exactly the ones that make the top of the list of ‘most dangerous jobs’, so you might be surprised to learn just how dangerous healthcare work can be.

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Croatia is a small country, with a population half the size of New York City. But what it lacks in size, it makes up in gorgeous nature. Croatia has the largest area of Natura 2000 sites in Europe. 40 percent of its land and 17 percent of its marine territory are home to threatened species and habitats.

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The Dayton Accords reached 22 years ago heralded an era of peace for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Yet the country is now estimated to be the second deadliest in the world for another killer, responsible for more lives lost worldwide than any war – air pollution.

Electricity produced from coal can appear cheap in the short-term. It has been seen by many to be a development opportunity. The electricity is even exported to neighbouring countries.

Yet what price does cheap and dirty energy place on people’s health, the environment and development?

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With a population of 1.3 billion, growing at 1.2 per cent per year, India is a heavy hitter in the world of global emissions. But while the country is the globe’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter after the United States and China, it also has big ambitions in terms of energy efficiency.

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The Philippines’ Ifugao rice terraces, located in the highlands of Luzon Island, are a unique paddy farming system that has seen over two millennia of use. The terraces, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, reflect a unique connection between humans and the landscapes they depend on.

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The sea is rising around the world posing serious danger to coastal communities. In Liberia’s low-lying coastal settlements, a large number of people live in ramshackle dwellings of cardboard and zinc that are ill-equipped to weather any storm.

Coastal erosion from rising sea levels, exacerbated by widespread (though illegal) sand mining, has already made various parts of Liberia’s coast disappear. The erosion has been so severe that it has washed away a police station and homes, and displaced thousands of people.

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In 2002 a small nation on the fringe of Southeast Asia declared its independence. The vote heralded a bright new future for a people excited to claim back their sovereignty.

Since that time, Timor-Leste, a young country – in fact one of the world’s youngest – has been actively investing in nation-building. As part of this, the Government has been building roads, bridges and cargo sea ports to improve mobility, economic activity and access to public services for its people, now numbering over one million.

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Sami Jan, a 45-year-old villager, remembers the day flash floods erupted near his fields in Balkh district, 25 kilometres northwest of Mazar-e-Sharif city in northern Afghanistan. His crops – his sole livelihood—were washed away and he was trapped in the rising water.

“I had no way to escape,” said Sami. “I would have died that same day if an army helicopter hadn’t rescued me. But my crops were ruined.”

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