›December 16, 2013 // By Kathleen Mogelgaard
When Super Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines last month, the incredible damage visited on the people, infrastructure, and land was shaped by trends that have been in motion for decades. The country’s population has been growing rapidly, with high concentrations of people living in cities and along the coast; economic growth had been steady, but weak governance and corruption may have exacerbated vulnerability; and the gradual loss of coastal forests and mangroves left many communities exposed to the full brunt of the typhoon’s storm surge. On a positive note, wireless technology and crowd-sourced data helped in disaster response.
Water is the foundation of human society and will become even more critical as population growth, development, and climate change put pressure on already-shrinking water resources in the years ahead. But will this scarcity fuel conflict between countries with shared waters, as some have predicted, or will it create more impetus for cooperation?
›February 28, 2013 // By Schuyler Null
Newly minted Secretary of State John Kerry would probably prefer his first few months on the job to be a little quieter. But – in addition to everything else – sequestration is bearing down on Washington this week, and the U.S. government is beginning to seriously take stock of what automated cuts might mean. The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are not spared. Kerry sent a letter earlier this month to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) outlining the projected effects for his charges if the March 1st deadline should pass without action.
Environmental desks at newspapers around the world may be on the defensive, but the stories are only getting bigger. On January 25, six environmental journalists from Bloomberg, EnergyWire, Public Radio International, the Associated Press, and the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media gathered at the Wilson Center for a panel cosponsored by the Environmental Change and Security Program and the Society of Environmental Journalists to discuss what to watch for in the coming year, from President’s Obama’s mention of climate change in his inaugural address to the prospects of shale gas and the Keystone XL pipeline. [Video Below]
2012 witnessed a remarkable number and extremity of environmental conditions, from Hurricane Sandy and the U.S. drought to wildfires in Siberia and drought-driven blackouts in India. Arctic sea ice melted to its furthest extent in recent history. The energy landscape continued to change as well, from the launch of the U.S. Navy’s Great Green Fleet to the first liquefied natural gas shipments across the Arctic. As President Obama clearly stated in his second inaugural address, climate change is heightening both our risks and the need to respond, but tying together all of these issues is a highly complex endeavor.
Afghanistan’s Mineral Potential, Sustainability of Development Efforts Crucial Questions, Says Wilson Center’s Michael Kugelman›
Rich, untapped deposits of gold, iron, copper, lithium, and rare earth minerals have been known in Afghanistan for decades, but recently, extensive reports from the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Geological Survey have shed new light on their potential value.
As President Obama and President Karzai met last week to discuss the role of the United States in the near future, the Wilson Center’s Michael Kugelman talked to The Washington Post and Foreign Policy about these minerals and what they might mean for struggling development efforts.
›January 7, 2013 // By Kathleen Mogelgaard
1.8 million food producers using improved technologies or management practices. Nearly 9 million children reached through nutrition programs. 2.4 million hectares under improved technologies or management practices. New mechanisms for donor coordination. A forward-looking agricultural research agenda. Innovative private-sector partnerships to support smallholder farmers. These are among the successes reported for the first three years of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s new global hunger and food security initiative.
›November 14, 2012 // By Carolyn Lamere
“During my career, my viewpoint changed significantly in the understanding and definition of what security really is,” said retired Admiral William J. Fallon at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on November 2. “My current appreciation of it is that it’s much more fundamental, much more personal, much more at the individual human level than I had thought in earlier years.”
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