Land

Southern Madagascar at risk of famine amid worst drought in 40 years

UN agencies are urgently calling for international support as a million Madagascans go hungry, with some surviving on insects and wild roots

US, UK and Norway launch $1bn initiative to protect tropical forests

The Leaf Coalition aims to mobilise $1 billion of public and private finance this year to cut emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

Pakistan explores debt-for-nature scheme to accelerate its 10 billion tree tsunami

Creditors could grant Pakistan debt relief in exchange for meeting nature restoration targets, under a proposed first-of-its-kind bond

Cyclone Seroja kills 160 people, exposes Indonesia’s climate vulnerability

Campaigners say a government rollback of environmental regulations increases Indonesia’s vulnerability to flash floods and landslides

Saudi Arabia aims for 50% renewable energy by 2030, backs huge tree planting initiative

The target will require huge investments in solar technologies, experts warn, as less than 1% of the oil producing nation’s energy comes from renewables

Ireland’s government agrees on climate bill to set 2050 net zero goal in law

The bill would commit Ireland to cut emissions 51% between 2018 and 2030, raising tough questions about the future of cattle farming

EU ministers demand response to Trump Admin critique of green farming reforms

The EU Commission has been ordered to assess the impact of its green “farm to fork” strategy after the Trump Administration claimed it would harm global food security

Joe Biden’s climate ambitions must include land rights for Congo forest communities

Development aid from rich countries has done more harm than good to central African forests and their inhabitants. This can change with a community-led approach

South Sudan plans to raise climate ambition amid ‘dire’ humanitarian crisis

The world’s newest country is seeking to expand renewable energy, tree planting and climate smart agriculture, but UK aid cuts threaten progress

Descendants of former slaves in the Brazilian Amazon are still waiting for their land rights

The process of providing land deeds to communities founded by former slaves was slow before Jair Bolsonaro, but the president’s budget cuts have completely stalled progress

Land

Agriculture

Indian farmers head for showdown with government over agricultural reform

Already bearing heavy costs from climate change, Indian farmers fear the government’s market reforms will drive them deeper into debt

New Zealand urged to accelerate emissions cuts in line with 2050 net zero goal

Independent advisors said New Zealand should cut emissions “much more than 35%” from 2005 levels by 2030 to align ambition with a 1.5C global warming limit

Colombia banks on forest economy to deliver climate ambition leap

Since the end of a 50-year civil war, Colombia has seen a spike in forest clearance, that the government now hopes to reverse with agroforestry initiatives

In Kenya’s changing climate, women are claiming land rights to feed their families

Owning their own land allows Kenyan women to build resilience to drought and flooding, but many are unaware of laws intended to empower them

Brazil’s military operations are not halting deforestation in the Amazon

Jair Bolsonaro has transferred the command of anti-deforestation operations in the Amazon to the military. But the army presence is making little difference

African ministers call for investment in Great Green Wall to aid Covid-19 recovery

Plans for an 8,000km green belt across the Sahel region have stalled, with fresh funds needed to halt desertification and create sustainable livelihoods

‘Solidarity economy’: Indigenous women run WhatsApp food swap in Costa Rica

The Cabécar community is combining traditional customs and modern technology to cope with pandemic and climate change pressures on food security

Green shift urged to revive Brazil’s economy and shield Amazon forests

President Bolsonaro could rebuild the economy faster after Covid-19 by making low-carbon growth a pillar of recovery, international study says

Agriculture

Biodiversity

Cop26 dream team: The people setting the climate agenda on seven key issues

From Denmark’s Dan Jørgensen to Malawi’s Nancy Tembo, here are the leaders to watch ahead of UN climate talks in Glasgow, UK

France and UK lead push for climate finance to restore nature

Campaigners welcomed commitments to ramp up funding for biodiversity but raised concerns it came at the expense of other climate and aid spending

UN summit highlights $700bn funding gap to restore nature

A pledging conference to halt the decline of biodiversity worldwide yielded only a handful of vague financial commitments from European governments

Bolsonaro shifts blame for unprecedented Brazilian wetland fires

In a message to the UN, Brazil’s president denied responsibility for the worst fires on record in the Pantanal, despite having slashed environmental protections

World misses 2020 biodiversity goals: leaked UN draft report

Global Biodiversity Outlook draft finds funding shortfalls and failure to account for the role of women held back progress on restoring ecosystems

Forest destruction spiked in Indonesia during coronavirus lockdown

Travel restrictions allowed illegal deforestation to flourish in Indonesia – and government plans to cut environmental protections raise fears for the future

Malawi’s farmers grow crops with ‘magic liquid’ fertiliser

‘Bionitrate’ made from urine is starting to help yields for farmers in Malawi who face high costs fertilising maize and other crops amid shifting weather patterns

From summits to stimulus: Nature-based solutions can help

Nature-based solutions deserve much deeper consideration as governments decide how to design their economic responses to the coronavirus

Biodiversity

Forests

DR Congo campaigners take minister to court over illegal logging rights claims

Environment minister Claude Nyamugabo is accused of violating a moratorium on logging in the Congo rainforest, by awarding concessions the size of Wales

It’s time to end subsidies for burning wood from forests

Trees are worth much more to humanity alive than dead, say 500 scientists in an open letter to leaders in the EU, US and East Asia

The net tightens around illegal logging operations in Pará, Bolsonaro’s stronghold

Uruará voted for Brazil’s rightwing president hoping for a more relaxed approach to illegal logging, but enforcement agencies are cracking down

Brazil sets ‘indicative’ goal of carbon neutrality by 2060

Brazil is seeking to join the net zero club, but campaigners denounced its pledge as meaningless while deforestation rises under President Bolsonaro

Brazil must reverse deforestation trends before EU finalises Mercosur trade deal

Imazon study finds indigenous people’s territories at greatest risk from forest clearance as a result of growing agricultural activity under the agreement

Bolsonaro’s attack on the Amazon breaches Brazil’s constitution, climate lawyers argue

Brazilian campaigners are fighting in the Supreme Court to reinstate anti-deforestation policies and resources slashed by the Bolsonaro administration

Landless Brazilians are invading more and more protected areas of the Amazon

Emboldened by President Bolsonaro, landless people are settling in environmental reserves and indigenous territories

Mark Carney oversees blueprint for scaling up carbon market as offset demand soars

With more and more businesses setting net zero emissions targets, the voluntary carbon market needs stronger quality control to scale up, says UN special envoy

Forests

Cities

Covid exposes Mexico City’s water access gap between rich and poor

The coronavirus pandemic lays bare the impact of Mexico City’s mounting water crisis on vulnerable households, while gated communities enjoy reliable supplies

It will take more than a few cycle lanes to make green, pandemic-proof cities

The coronavirus lockdown gave a glimpse of what cleaner cities can look like, but as people turn to private cars for safety from infection, pollution could soar

Addis Ababa riverside project gives priority to development over residents

Ethiopia wants $900 million riverside project to be a model of green development – yet one resident says shelters were demolished ‘without warning’

Car boom brings gridlock misery to ‘green and happy’ Bhutan

Bhutan’s growing economy brings growing gridlock – and a potential threat to the country’s vaunted carbon-negative status

Two million in Zimbabwe’s capital have no water as city turns off taps

‘The situation is bad, period’, says spokesman for Harare council, as suburbs go weeks without water and cases of typhoid are reported

Trains deliver emergency water to drought-hit Chennai

Millions of people are experiencing water shortages as Chennai’s reservoirs are running dry and other sources of water are dwindling

EU ‘climate leaders’ plans found lacking

Finland, Sweden, Portugal, France and Germany praised for ambitious targets, but NGO analysis raises questions over details

New York City bans inefficient glass skyscrapers, WA state to end coal

New York mayor announces sweeping climate change programme, while Washington’s power will be carbon-neutral by 2030

Cities