The combination of the heaviest rainfall in years, and being the fastest sinking city in the world, has proven a deadly combination for Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, as flooding has claimed at least 67 victims since 31 December.
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The government of Japan looks likely to proceed with a controlled ocean-release of radioactive wastewater associated with the Fukushima disaster, a move criticised by environmental groups in neighbouring countries.
A draft report on how to dispose of treated water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, released 31 December, includes two methods, narrowed down from five that had been under consideration.
The Chilean Senate's decision to reject the idea of legislating a constitutional reform to enshrine water as a public good was described as a national disgrace on Thursday.
The fresh water supply from Turkey to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has suffered a disruption, Turkey’s agriculture and forestry minister said on Jan. 11. Bekir Pakdemirli told reporters in Turkey’s southern Mersin province that the Turkey-TRNC water pipeline didn’t break and that the reason for the disruption has yet to be ascertained.
The government of Russia has acknowledged that climate change has had a prominent and increasing effect on its economy and population and has released its plan to adapt to such changes.
In a relatively brief 17-page document released January 4, the government outlines a two-year first stage action plan to mitigate damage. The plan also identifies opportunities to take economic advantage of warmer temperatures throughout the country.
Although Russia has signed the 2015 Paris climate agreement, and criticized the United States for withdrawing, Russia's President Vladimir Putin has previously denied scientific consensus on climate change, and environmental activists in Russia have been targeted by authorities.
Manipulation of information and dissemination of “fake news” are having negative effects on transboundary water cooperation, according to an advisor to the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), reproduced, December 2019, by Global Water Forum.
The report explains how the complex intersection of changing climates and increasing environmental challenges, a general lack of data availability, and weak communications from riparian governments to the general public regarding the benefits of transboundary water cooperation can open the door to information manipulation.
Water shortages in Thailand have become increasingly acute even in advance of the hottest season of the year which typically begins in March. The country’s Meteorological Department has warned that the worst drought in four decades is possible.
This year’s El Nino climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean has shifted warmer air to Thailand causing temperatures to rise. Another cause of scarcity is the number of dams that have been constructed in recent years. Water being held in upstream areas of the Mekong river, including by China, have been a contributing element in record low water availability downstream.
A new report from NGO Christian Aid identifies and quantifies 15 of the most destructive weather events of 2019. All of the disasters (floods, cyclones, typhoons, hurricanes, tropical storms) caused damage of over US$1 billion, and four of them cost at least $10 billion (figures are likely to be underestimates as they often show only insured losses and do not always take into account other financial costs, such as lost productivity and uninsured losses).
Human conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region has been described as “the first climate change war”. In 2007 the then United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said “Amid the diverse social and political causes, (the conflict) began as an ecological crisis, arising at least in part from climate change”.
A December 2019 feature article in UK media outlet The Guardian, produced with assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), describes how a new water management initiative has increased crop productivity through community construction of weirs that slow the flow of seasonal rains, allowing water to seep into the land.
“Water, water, water, is a right, not a business, not a privilege”. Used as a rallying cry during protests, this chant rang out as an underlying current throughout an alternative climate conference held in Santiago, Chile from December 2-11, 2019.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a 60 billion rupee ($842 million) plan to tackle water shortages in the country’s seven heartland states where agriculture is a mainstay.
A number of protests took place this weekend in Argentina’s central province of Mendoza, following the approval of a new version of Law 7722, which restricted the use of dangerous chemicals in mining operations. The modified law allows for the use of cyanide and sulfuric acid in mining activities but forbids the use of mercury.
A Louisiana Catholic church has come up with a novel way of blessing locals. St. Anne Church in Abbeville sprayed 100 gallons of holy water over the community on Saturday with the help of a tiny, low-flying plane traditionally used to spray pesticides on farms.
Flash flooding in northern Syria has particularly affected over 230,000 children who have already been displaced by conflict in 2019, according to NGO Save the Children.
While human migration in northern Iraq is often driven by conflict, in the south of the country it is more often linked to livelihood factors such as water scarcity and the loss of arable land according to a new report. This first "Migration Profile" of Iraq, released 19 December, is a joint effort of the Iraq Ministries of Migration and Displacement, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Labor and Social Affairs, Planning, Interior in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Senior representatives of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt are set to meet again in Washington DC in January over outstanding issues related to the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
Afghanistan has many natural resources, especially in terms of water and mines, but they haven't been tapped effectively so far. Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran have a long history of conflict over scarce water resources – largely over Afghanistan's infrastructure-building on the Helmand and Kabul rivers despite it's a legitimate right and immediate domestic need of Afghanistan.
Few other foreign nationals have perhaps received as much love and admiration from the Afghans as Tetsu Nakamura, a Japanese doctor who dedicated his life to improving healthcare, water availability and agriculture in Afghanistan over the last four decades.
While our environment might not transform in one conspicuous event, combined small changes will add up over time, and tip over into the aforementioned catastrophe. No place can demonstrate this steady progression better than the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Two areas farmed by Israelis for more than 50 years have recently been returned to neighbouring Jordan. The association with water bodies is no coincidence: neither land would have been occupied in the first place were it not for the water that the Israeli army and kibbutzim required to sustain the farms.
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