The world's newest country is once again facing conflict and drought that are producing a new generation of internally displaced people and refugees.
On this Earth Day, Canada is proud to re-establish its support for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. It is key to our commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
We want to help affected communities develop resilience in the face of the effects of climate change.
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In late 2016 when the rains failed, a severe drought hit the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya, affecting over 2.7 million people. Marsabit is one of the hardest hit counties, where thousands of children are food insecure and in dire need of treatment for severe malnutrition.
Access to water and toilets is transformative. It opens doors to education, health, nutrition and to a better livelihood. Access to water and toilets offers women and girls so many more opportunities to contribute their fullest to their communities.
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Khadija and her fellow villagers are among the five million people - nearly two out of every five Somalis - facing food shortages exacerbated as a result of the ongoing drought. Failed crops and the loss of livestock are causing widespread misery, malnutrition and disease.
The need for support is urgent and helping children survive is our main concern. Canada has played a leadership role in international development and Canadians have always been known to provide relief in humanitarian crises.
The climate phenomenon has left us with not only a trail of destruction so vast that more than one million children will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition this year, but also a taste of what could be to come with its stormy sister, La Niña.
I was fortunate to have a happy, healthy childhood. I had nutritious food, a comfortable home, and an endless supply of clean water. But on World Health Day April 7, I think of children whose experiences couldn't be more different than mine.
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"If climate change is a shark, then water is its teeth." Like a fish that doesn't notice the shark until it feels its sharp bite, humans will first feel the effects of climate change through water. Under current projections, most freshwater ecosystems globally will face ecologically significant impacts by the middle of this century.
When Craig visited Dadaab, Kenya, four years ago and met Ali, he witnessed hundreds of families lined along the road to the world's largest refugee camp. Most weren't fleeing violence, they were fleeing the weather. As climate change advances, disasters like the drought that ravaged East Africa in 2011 are becoming more frequent and severe.
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The push to make Alberta’s cattle ranges drought-resistant.
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It has become clear that climate change will disproportionately impact the world's most vulnerable because they are heavily dependent on resources that will be affected by climatic change. Whether by virtue of socio-economic status, conflict, gender or geography, certain groups are more liable than others to be negatively impacted by climate change, which directly implicates the question of human rights. How will this differentially influence people's lives, living conditions and livelihoods, and who are the most vulnerable?
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It is bad enough that the government allows multinational companies to privatize a public resource, it is even worse that taxpayers are being hosed by charging so little for it. Several industries get a total free ride when it comes to taking our water. Those who do pay for taking water are charged a paltry $3.71 per million litres used. This is not a typo.
When we compare the water footprint of soy milk and cow's milk, we find that the water production footprint of one litre of cow's milk is more than three times that of soy milk. Replacing cow's milk with soy milk would not only be a good thing for water preservation, it's also a wise choice to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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The fact that it passed entirely without notice reaffirms just how lucky we are to live in this blessed land of plenty. But perhaps it's a good occasion to reflect upon the importance of food in our tumultuous, changing world.
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Think of the largest body of fresh water you know. Now imagine it if it dropped the equivalent of an 11-story building.
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Access to water is one of the biggest challenges facing the planet today. We have to address the underlying causes, like climate change, overconsumption, waste and pollution. However, that alone won't overcome the problem -- not in time for millions of people in need of fresh water. Fortunately there's some incredible technology emerging to recycle or create new sources of water--dowsing rods for the 21st Century. eventy-one per cent of the world's surface is covered by water. But the vast majority of that is ocean--salt water we can neither drink nor use to irrigate our crops.
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As a farming family, it's really depressing to see a year's worth of planning just baking away in the fields, losing your profit and losing your yields every day. So, trying not to worry about our crops more than we are, a little humour to lighten the mood...
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"We are just incredibly dry, dryer than we have been in approximately 50 years."
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Crops are devastated across the region.
Almost one third of the planet’s largest groundwater basins are being rapidly depleted, according to a report from NASA this week. The studies cited in the report show that 21 of the 37 largest aquife...
How long can you go without water? You could probably survive a few weeks without water for cooking. If you stopped washing, the threat to your life might only come from people who can't stand the smell. But most people won't live for more than three days without water to drink. It makes sense: our bodies are about 65 per cent water. According to the United Nations, about 750 million people lack access to safe water -- that's one in nine!
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At an estimated $7.9 billion and growing, the proposed Site C Dam on the beautiful Peace River in northeastern B.C. has been criticized. If built, Site C would violate First Nations' rights under Treaty 8, rendering them irrelevant to the point of mockery. How long will Treaty 8 First Nations be able to sustain a vibrant, living culture when the dam devastates their land and communities?
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We've upset the Earth's carbon cycle by burning fossil fuels and destroying forests and wetlands. Plants help rebalance it by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. And rising atmospheric CO2 actually increases pollen production.
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Depending on where you are, it's been getting hotter, colder, drier, wetter, stormier. Indeed, the changes, particularly the intensity of heatwaves and droughts, have been occurring faster than many scientists predicted. And that's made it a bit easier to feel there is something real about climate change.
Drought and fracking have already caused some small communities in Texas to run out of water altogether, and parts of California are headed for the same fate. As we continue to extract and burn ever greater amounts of oil, gas and coal, climate change is getting worse, which will likely lead to more droughts in some areas and flooding in others.
By abandoning the UN Desertification Convention, as well as other important international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, Canada is sending the wrong message to the world community. We're saying that exporting resources like oil and timber matter more to us than contributing to dialogue and partnership on global issues.
OTTAWA - The Harper government was accused Thursday of trying to avoid a reckoning on the science of climate change by pulling Canada out of a United Nations convention that fights the spread of droug...
Flickr: BLM Nevada
OTTAWA - The Harper government is pulling out of a United Nations convention that fights droughts in Africa and elsewhere, which would make Canada the only country in the world outside the agreement.T...
Southwestern B.C.'s long spell of dry weather is having serious effects on water supplies from the Sunshine Coast, to the Gulf Islands and beyond. On the Sunshine Coast, northwest of Vancouver, a lak...
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The alleged pork "fiasco" that broke recently about a bacon shortage was not for want of real news: there is a serious conversation to be had. Not just about the perfect storm brewing in the rise of corn, wheat and fuel prices that's poised to increase food costs for the consumer. But also, what's really behind all of this, and where we're headed.
Just a few days ago I joined Canada's newly appointed Minister of International Cooperation, Julian Fantino on a trip to Burkina Faso in West Africa. Throughout this visit I was struck by many sights and sounds that will stay with me for a long time -- evidence of how the crisis is affecting lives, how people are coping, and what more needs to be done to avert a crisis from becoming an all-out catastrophe.