Feature Story

Palau, an archipelago of over 576 islands in the western tropical Pacific Ocean, is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, many of which are endangered or can be found nowhere else on the planet.

The environment forms the basis of Palau’s culture and economy, with much of the population reliant on natural resources, either for subsistence or insofar as they support tourism, the nation’s largest income source.

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South Africa’s agricultural sector is responsible for devastating impacts on the environment.

Most South African farms are privately owned, commercial operations, a fact that has somewhat naturally led to a one-dimensional approach to management: they’re out to make a profit. Many of these farmers leave their livestock to graze unattended in large camps, sometimes for months at a time. While the costs are low to the farmers, this system – known as paddocking – has significant negative impacts on the health of South Africa’s land, especially in arid areas.

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“When I was a boy, the lake was beautiful,” Bernardo San Juan says. “In the early 70s we would picnic here and swim in the lake. We would just bring a pot and some rice, we would catch fish to cook and drink the lake water. Today, it’s a different story.

Today, in fact, the lake is hardly visible. Instead, vast swathes of the water around the lakeside Filipino town of Cardona are a sea of green, fish pens and navigation channels alike clogged by an impenetrable mass of water hyacinth.

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By Celine Herweijer, partner, innovation and sustainability, and Will Evison, assistant director, PwC

Why does almost every big business in the world set targets? Because they understand the power of setting – and tracking - progress against them, in order to make things happen.

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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.

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The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is a natural economic area bound together by the Mekong River basin that includes parts of Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and China. Covering over 1 million square miles, the GMS is home to more than 300 million people, and numerous flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth. 2,500 new species have been discovered there since 1997, and 115 in 2016 alone.

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Abandoned by her father at birth, Agnes, from south west Tanzania, lived for 15 years on the fringes of her community simply because of the way she looked.

Born with a cleft lip, her father could not bear to bring up a child who did not look ‘normal’ so he left. Agnes’s mother tried to get treatment for her daughter but nobody could tell her where to go so she gave up.

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In Liberia, farmers are experiencing extreme weather like never before. With heavy rain and strong winds, eroding coasts and degraded soils, Liberia’s most-vulnerable communities face ever-increasing risks from climate change.

For centuries, Liberians have relied on traditional knowledge for farming. They knew it would be wet in the last half of the year, dry in the first.

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By Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP

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The Government of Zambia is activating climate actions across the country to achieve its contributions to the Paris Agreement. Not only will this work protect the nation’s environment and contribute to reducing greenhouse gases worldwide, it will also provide the foundation to end poverty, hunger and inequality in a place where 6 out of 10 people still live below the poverty line and don’t make enough money to meet basic food requirements.

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