The Challenges Of Water And Climate In Asia

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cropped image of Arjun ThapanMr. Arjun Thapan is Special Senior Advisor to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) President for Infrastructure and Water. ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. In this opinion essay, he discusses Asia’s impending water crisis, exacerbated not just by the environmental consequences of economic and population growth, but now also by climate change.

The Millennium Development Goals – Environmental Sustainability and Energy Savings with Straw Bale Homes

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Cropped image of a straw bale house under constructionA practice that started in the late 1800s is experiencing a sustainable resurgence as communities begin to construct super efficient houses out of bales of straw. In this article Emily Sullivan explains how using straw bales to build houses not only greatly reduces our footprint on the Earth, but also improves communities through job creation and economic improvement.

The Millennium Development Goals – Environmental Sustainability at Stake in Aguinda v. Chevron

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Cropped image of oil flares in the AmazonAchieving environmental sustainability, one of the United Nation’s eight Millennium Development Goals, adopted in 2000, requires the cooperation of the entire world – a seemingly daunting task. Currently, a $27 billion lawsuit is under litigation between Chevron and the inhabitants of the Oriente region of the Amazonian rainforest. It is a veritable David and Goliath battle. At stake is the clean up of one of Earth’s most delicate and important ecosystems, and this lawsuit could have priceless implications on the future of the Oriente.

Millennium Development Goals – WATER and the MDGS

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Cropped image of a child drinking water from a faucetIn WATER and the MDGs, Filmmaker/Photographer Amy Hart puts access to clean water at the center of every MDG. She begins, “Approximately 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with water, but only 3% of it is fresh water ‰ÛÒ of that precious 3%, 2% is frozen in polar ice caps, leaving just 1% to satisfy all the needs of 6 billion people around the globe. Sadly, we have not yet assured that everyone has their most basic needs met. Currently, nearly 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water, and more than 2 billion lack adequate sanitation ‰ÛÒ which causes the unnecessary deaths of more than 4,000 people every day, mostly children under the age of five.”

Kuruom vidyalaya: the Power of One in a Billion

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Portrait of Bal Ram Singh, Ph.D.In Korown, an Uttar Pradesh India farming village where little has changed for hundreds of years, a 21st century school opened its doors for the first time in July to 100 girls and boys in grades 1-4, 6, and 7. Kuruom vidyalaya is the bricks-and-mortar embodiment of the Hindu goddess Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, and testimony to one man’s spirit and commitment. That man is Bal Ram Singh, Ph.D., 51, once a child of the village and now a successful biophysical chemist at a U.S. university (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth) and director of its Center for Indic Studies, who built the school himself without government assistance. Deeply engaged as a Hindu, a family man, a professor, research scientist, and a U.S. citizen, he is also determined to prove that “one little man” can change the status-quo in India for the better.

Reaching the Millennium Development Goals: Eradicating Hunger in Eastern Kenya

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Cropped image of roof tops in Kiberia, Kenya.Nowhere on Earth has the progress toward achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015 been more fraught than in Africa, reports the United Nations World Food Programme’s spokesman Marcus Prior. Alleviating hunger in Eastern Kenya is at a crisis need level, yet the shortage of cereals arises not only from population growth and severe drought, but from increased demand for bio-fuels and rising meat consumption, say Dr. Chris Funk and Dr. Molly Brown, all sources in Reaching the Millennium Development Goals: Eradicating Hunger in Eastern Kenya