Ethiopia plants 350m trees in a day to help tackle climate crisis

Ethiopia plants 350m trees in a day to help tackle climate crisis

About 350m trees have been planted in a single day in Ethiopia, according to a government minister.

The planting is part of a national “green legacy” initiative to grow 4bn trees in the country this summer by encouraging every citizen to plant at least 40 seedlings. Public offices have reportedly been shut down in order for civil servants to take part.

The project aims to tackle the effects of deforestation and climate change in the drought-prone country. According to the UN, Ethiopia’s forest coverage was just 4% in the 2000s, down from 35% a century earlier.

Five charts: How climate change could affect peace

Five charts: How climate change could affect peace

The effects of climate change extend beyond the environmental impacts in a complex intersection with economics, social development and security.

The impacts of fluctuating climate conditions on societal stability and its potential to lead to violent conflict is of growing importance.

While long-term quantitative data available on the interactions of climate and peace is scarce. What we do know is that climate change is a threat multiplier. Climate pressures adversely influence resource availability, affect population dynamics, and strain societal institutions.

Iran: More War(s) In the Middle East? There Still May Be Options.

Iran: More War(s) In the Middle East? There Still May Be Options.

The United States cannot ignore military challenges from Iran or the threat Iran may return to a serious nuclear weapons program. At the same time, President Trump’s decision to delay retaliatory strikes on Iran for shooting down a U.S. Navy RQ-4 surveillance drone is a wise one. The United States needs to think long and hard before it engages in any form of serious conflict with Iran or uses force in ways that can trigger a serious risk of major escalation on both sides.

Social Innovation and Peace: The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda

Social Innovation and Peace: The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda

visionofhumanity.org | The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a global consensus on objectives for addressing the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues. Upon adoption of this ambitious agenda spanning 2015-2030, the United Nations General Assembly called on the governmental, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors to work together and utilise all available resources. In recent years, attention has focused on the potential for social innovation to bring about such profound social changes by working across those sectors.

Trump says the U.S. Navy downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz

Trump says the U.S. Navy downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz

A U.S. naval ship downed an Iranian drone that flew too close and ignored multiple calls to turn away, President Trump said Thursday, as tensions between the United States and Iran appeared to be rising once again in the Persian Gulf region.

Speaking at the White House, Trump said the drone came within 1,000 yards of the USS Boxer in the Strait of Hormuz before the crew “took defensive action” and “immediately destroyed” it.

What you need to know to understand Belt and Road

What you need to know to understand Belt and Road

weforum.org | There are two things everyone needs to know about the Belt and Road. First, as officials in Beijing will tell you, this grand project is measured in decades, with its conclusion planned for 2049, the centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Second, the initiative is both global and revolutionary. Its aim is to create a new order in world politics and the world economy.

Niqab banned in Tunisian government offices

Niqab banned in Tunisian government offices

alarabiya.net | AFP, Tunis | Prime Minister Youssef Chahed decided on Friday to ban the niqab for women in Tunisian government offices “for security reasons,” his office said.
It said Chahed signed a government circular “banning access to public administrations and institutions to anyone with their face covered… for security reasons.”