Access to Information

One of our key priorities at EarthTrends is ensuring that the public have access to the type of information that can be used to understand trends, shape ideas and inform change.

Information is crucial to both development and good governance. Successful decision making can only occur if both leaders and the wider public have a complete picture of the key trends and issues impacting their nation and communities. This is particularly important when it comes to sustainably managing a country's natural resources.

However for many, particularly in low income countries, easy access is not always a given. Limited investment, poor infrastructure and the socio-economic landscape all contribute to significant segments of the population having inadequate access to information resources.

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Population and Consumption

The air is full of carbon dioxide and other pollutants;
The ocean is emptying;
We have observed record setting harvests over the last few years, and yet chronic hunger persists and has recently been increasing;
The planet is experiencing the 6th great extinction;

All of these are the result of human activity.

This evidence illustrates that we have not responsibly managed, neither through governance nor technology, our environmental resources. In the absence of finding a sustainable relationship with our ecosystem, we might conclude that we have reached Earth's carrying capacity.read more

Population and Consumption

The air is full of carbon dioxide and other pollutants;
The ocean is emptying;
We have observed record setting harvests over the last few years, and yet chronic hunger persists and has recently been increasing;
The planet is experiencing the 6th great extinction;

All of these are the result of human activity.

This evidence illustrates that we have not responsibly managed, neither through governance nor technology, our environmental resources. In the absence of finding a sustainable relationship with our ecosystem, we might conclude that we have reached Earth's carrying capacity.read more

Sanitation: Access and Health

Human waste may be a topic that people generally do not or prefer not to think about. However, its capture and disposal (often referred to in terms of sanitation) play a vital role in human health and development. The importance of sanitation as a basic human need has made it an international development priority and a key target in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Even though since 1990 the percent of the global population with access to improved sanitation has increased (see Figure 1.), lack of improved sanitation still threatens human health and development particularly in developing regions of the world.

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Sanitation: Access and Health

Human waste may be a topic that people generally do not or prefer not to think about. However, its capture and disposal (often referred to in terms of sanitation) play a vital role in human health and development. The importance of sanitation as a basic human need has made it an international development priority and a key target in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Even though since 1990 the percent of the global population with access to improved sanitation has increased (see Figure 1.), lack of improved sanitation still threatens human health and development particularly in developing regions of the world.

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Piracy and Governance in the Gulf of Aden

The number of piracy attacks reported this year have already far exceeded those of last year. According to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), as of September 23, 2009, 294 piratical incidents have been reported, with 97 occurring in the Gulf of Aden and 47 off of the remaining coasts of Somalia. Figure 1 shows the placements of pirate attacks within the Gulf of Aden from July to September, 2009.read more

Piracy and Governance in the Gulf of Aden

The number of piracy attacks reported this year have already far exceeded those of last year. According to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), as of September 23, 2009, 294 piratical incidents have been reported, with 97 occurring in the Gulf of Aden and 47 off of the remaining coasts of Somalia. Figure 1 shows the placements of pirate attacks within the Gulf of Aden from July to September, 2009.read more

Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Factoids

Today is Blog Action Day, an annual event where bloggers worldwide combine their energies to highlight a specific issue. Over 10,000 sites from more than 150 countries, are participating in this years discussion on climate change.

As part of EarthTrends contribution we will be highlighting a few key climate change trends and statistics.

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Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Factoids

Today is Blog Action Day, an annual event where bloggers worldwide combine their energies to highlight a specific issue. Over 10,000 sites from more than 150 countries, are participating in this years discussion on climate change.

As part of EarthTrends contribution we will be highlighting a few key climate change trends and statistics.

read more

The 6th Extinction and Protected Areas

The 6th Extinction
A mass extinction is under way. Human activity, not natural phenomenon, is the difference between this extinction and the five previous big extinctions that have occurred in Earth's history. The current extinction is driven by habitat loss, overexploitation of species, invasive species and pollution. All of these, the result of humans.

The current extinction rate is between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural rate. (International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN) Current estimates put the extinction rate at roughly 30,000 species per year which is about three per hour. By the end of this century, about half of Earth's plant species could be gone. (Pitman and Jorgensen, 2002) For an assessment of global biodiversity, refer to the IUCN Red List. read more