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Showing posts from January 23, 2017

Over a million people affected by drought in Sri Lanka(downtoearth,)

Extreme weather is hitting Sri Lanka hard as the island country experiences its worst drought in more than four decades.

According to the data released by Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Center under the Ministry of Disaster Management, over a million people are being affected by drought in 18 districts. To put things in perspective, Sri Lanka has 25 districts, so more than half of the country is reeling under drought.

With rain not expected for another two to three months, the government has warned that the situation may worsen. The Disaster Management Center claims that it is distributing drinking water in seven affected districts as a relief measure.

As per media reports, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena warned of a power crisis due to the drought and requested corporate and citizens to use electricity economically.

Rivers and other freshwater reservoirs were not replenished due to the deficient rainfall last year, media reports say.

The drought may also have a severe imp…

Family farmers need technical assistance to adapt to climate change impacts'(downtoearth)

Family farmers in developing countries need to equip themselves with information and technology tools to feed a growing global population, Food and Agriculture Director-General José Graziano da Silva said at the G20 agricultural ministers meeting. in developing countries need to equip themselves with information and technology tools to feed a growing global population, Food and Agriculture Director-General José Graziano da Silva said at the G20 agricultural ministers meeting.

Family farmers contribute significantly to food security. Worldwide, around 90 per cent of farms are either operated by an individual or a family. But smallholder family farmers are vulnerable in the face of climate change. (read article)

“Millions of small family farmers need technical and financial assistance to be more resilient and adapt to the impacts of climate change. They must be able to stay on their land, produce their own food and also have access to markets,” Graziano da Silva added.

Most increases i…

Using wastewater to grow crops can address water scarcity in agriculture(downtoearth,)

Judicious use of wastewater to grow crops will help solve water scarcity in the agriculture sector. At a time when we need to produce more food to feed an ever-increasing population, wastewater can be used by farmers either directly through irrigation, and indirectly by recharging aquifers.

Using wastewater in the backdrop of water scarcity due to climate change formed the basis of talks in Berlin during the annual Global Forum for Food and Agriculture.

“…globally, only a small proportion of treated wastewater is being used for agriculture, most of it municipal wastewater. But (an) increasing numbers of countries—Egypt, Jordan, Mexico, Spain and the United States, for example—have been exploring the possibilities as they wrestle with mounting water scarcity,” says Marlos De Souza, senior officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) land and water division.

Managing a critical resource wisely

Water is vital for food production and climate change threatens this most preci…

The nowhere people next door( the hindu )

New Delhi should use creative diplomacy to persuade Myanmar to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

The Rohingyas are a people struck by tragedy: persecuted at home in Myanmar, rejected or barely tolerated abroad, and sacrificed at the altar of strategic calculations by powerful neighbours. To add to it, the refugee crisis in Europe has overshadowed their plight. Both institutionally discriminated and denied basic human rights in a legally-sanctioned manner as well as removed from the mainstream, over a million Rohingyas have no land they can call home. It is as though they have been expelled from humanity itself.

Anatomy of a tragedy


Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, neighbouring Bangladesh, are not recognised by the Myanmar government as an official ethnic group and are therefore denied citizenship. Most Rohingyas are not qualified to be citizens of Myanmar as per the 1982 Citizenship Law, which was promulgated by the erstwhile military junta. While it is claimed that there were…

America’s era of anger(Hindu.)

Despite the belligerence and rhetoric of his campaign, some had hoped that Donald Trump, in his inaugural address, would seek to heal the wounds created by a divisive campaign. But the 45th President of the U.S. trumped those expectations with a speech that was resonant of campaign rhetoric rather than one that should have been a vision statement for a united future under his leadership. Certain omissions in the speech were stark. The humility that American Presidents usually embrace in their first address was missing. So was the historical emphasis on American values. No word of thanks for the work of his predecessor, Barack Obama. Instead, Mr. Trump continued his attacks on the Washington establishment, vowing to end the “American carnage”, put “America First” in all policy decisions and eradicate “radical Islamic terror” from the “face of the earth”. These remarks, along with his first set of decisions in the White House, offer an indication of the priorities. Mr. Trump has alread…