Earth Day- Past & Present

The earth day is commemorated on 22nd April world over with several events. Every year, it comes as a reminder of things that have come to be and things that can be with respect to environment, and what can we as earthlings do to protect our earth better. This year’s theme is “protect our species” with the agenda of raising awareness about rate of extinction of species. The earth day celebrations were first initiated in 1970 by a US Senator from Wisconsin Gaylord Nelson. He proposed the initiative after having witnessed the enormous oil spill of Santa Barbara, California in […]

Environment at the Center of Agriculture Debate

Environment degradation and natural resource insecurity plays a significant role in geopolitical tensions and social instability world over. Though often underestimated, environment insecurity is one of the prime causes, directly or indirectly, of global events such as refugee crisis, civil wars, rise in populism among others. The UNHCR reports that natural disasters have displaced more than 26 million people since 2008. The refugee crisis is in fact marred by an environmental element, wherein natural resource scarcity, poor resource management and unstable agricultural practices are some of the main precursors. Syria serves as a case in point here. In the years […]

Geopolitical Realities of Resource Rich Africa (Part Two)

One of the salient aspects of the African geopolitics, as discussed in the earlier post, is the covetousness of African natural resources. Both the global powers and the emerging powers are interested in getting access to these African riches (environment resource), which in turn determines the nature of political relations between the countries and individual African States. However, natural resource richness can also lead to disparities within states threatening to hamper any kind of cooperation. As such, there are two factors influencing this fragmentation: Natural distribution of resources, making some countries more affluent than others. For instance, Africa is well […]

Geopolitical Realities of Resource Rich Africa (Part One)

Natural topography shares a complex relationship with the economy, polity and society of a country. Representing the geographical aspect— which includes physical landscape (mountains, waterbodies etc.), human elements and natural resources— it plays a critical role in shaping the international relations of States. This is reflected specially in case of Africa which is well endowed with natural resources, and has significant reserves of minerals and raw materials in comparison to the world; sometimes of minerals unique only to the continent, such as coltan. This has enabled the African nations to build strategic foreign relations and form geopolitical equations with countries […]

Cultural Heritage Has a Lot to Teach Us About Climate Change

While cultural heritage sites are under threat from rising sea levels and melting permafrost, indigenous knowledge such as that of Assam’s Majuli communities can provide the key to unlocking adaptive climate change strategies. (Republished from The Conversation and The Wire) Museums, archaeological sites and historical buildings are rarely included in conversations about climate change, which tend to focus on the wider impact and global threats to our contemporary world. Yet these threats impact everything, from local cultural practices to iconic sites of outstanding universal value. In light of this, it’s worth exploring the relationship between our heritage and the changing […]

India and its Energy Sovereignty

In recent times, India has been pitted to overtake Japan as the third largest economy by 2030 and yet the India’s macro-economy doesn’t seem to be robust as the rupee has continued to slide against downwards, and can be expected to be cheaper than ever by end of the year. Part of the problem lies in India’s dependency on oil imports. Until now India had a smooth ride owing to the oil price crash from $100 to $40. However, now the prices have climbed back to $75 making India vulnerable to factors such as inflation, increasing current account deficit and […]

THE POLITICS OF SUSTAINABLITY

The years 1992 and 2015 are historic for the environment movement, wherein each of the years witnessed important treaties and conferences, redefining plethora of academic and policy initiatives of past, present and future. Be it the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Treaty, Agenda 21 or Rio Declaration on Environment and Development among others. These signal to a major shift in international commitments to both sustainability and development. Conversely, pinning down the technical, normative or political definitions of sustainability is a difficult prospect. Over the years, especially due to rising incidence of natural catastrophe, it has come to resonate more with […]

Eradicating the Tuberculosis Epidemic from Indian Landscape

India bears world’s highest burden of tuberculosis (TB), accounting for more than one-fourth of all TB infections. As such in 2016, TB accounted for approximately 1.7 million deaths, reflecting that India, despite its focused and concerted efforts on behalf of diverse stakeholders, has a long way to go. In this light the Indian Prime Minister recently advanced the TB elimination goal by 5 years, given its control and prevention poses a challenge at multiple levels such as correct diagnosis, strong public health schemes, continuing medical treatment, drug resistance, funding, nutrition etc. Let us look at some of the macro- level […]

Earth Overshoot Day and Our Environment Real-Time

As per the Global Footprint Network (GFN) the world has already consumed this year’s annual budget of natural resources. Having reached its maximum limit on 1st August itself, the earth overshoot day serves as an annual report card, reminding us of our promises to reduce carbon footprint, control climate change and conserve our environment. Notably, humans already overshot nature’s annual budget in early 1970s itself and ever since this has been creeping up. Another significant fact is that every day, every minute past the overshoot day is equivalent of drawing down from the natural resource savings than living of interest. To understand […]

Energy & Climate Policy Trends

We are witnessing a dynamic change in the energy sector and the geopolitics around it. With fast stride towards the decarbonizing the economies, to developments such as lowered cost of solar power, electric vehicle era and secured fossil fuel supply— all together are changing demand-supply and production-consumption patterns of energy. Even then, approximately 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity and to clean cooking fuel. While at one end we are preparing for a world of autonomous vehicles, on the other end we are still battling the energy poverty with people lacking basic amenities. Notably, the Agenda 2030 focuses on […]