Development Issues

China: The electronic wastebasket of the world

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Ivan Watson
Where your used electronics go in China
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Did you ever wonder what happens to your old laptop or cellphone when you throw it away?

Chances are some of your old electronic junk will end up in China.

According to a recent United Nations report, "China now appears to be the largest e-waste dumping site in the world."

E-waste, or electronic waste, consists of everything from scrapped TVs, refrigerators and air conditioners to that old desktop computer that may be collecting dust in your closet. ... Read more about China: The electronic wastebasket of the world

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UN highlights role of transport in sustainable development at Bali Forum

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Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary-General, welcomed efforts by Asian countries at a United Nations-backed regional forum this week in addressing the role of transportation in the effort to fight climate change and achieve sustainable development.

In his message at the opening of the Seventh Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum in Asia and Global Consultation on Sustainable Transport in the post 2015 Development Agenda, the Secretary-General commended delegates for discussing next-generation transport systems for the 21st century. ... Read more about UN highlights role of transport in sustainable development at Bali Forum

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Women in India, other developing countries lag in Internet use - Intel report

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Susan Heavey
Employees at a call centre provide service support to customers in Siliguri February 2, 2008. Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files
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More needs to be done to boost women's and girl's lagging online access, tech giant Intel Corp (INTC.O) said in a report to be released later on Thursday that calls for doubling the number of female Internet users in developing nations over the next three years.

The report, funded by the global chipmaker with input from the United Nations and U.S. State Department, among others, points to stubborn gaps in women's access to the Internet in Africa, the Middle East and other developing parts of the world. ... Read more about Women in India, other developing countries lag in Internet use - Intel report

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Towers Of Vegetables Go Up As Singapore Builds First Vertical Farm

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Peter Murray
Sky Green hopes to see the prices of their vegetables go down as more vertical farms go up.
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Short on arable land? One solution would be to plant…up. Singapore, a small country that imports most of its food, has now begun selling vegetables from its first vertical farm. And even while they’re more expensive the vegetables are already selling faster than they can be grown. ... Read more about Towers Of Vegetables Go Up As Singapore Builds First Vertical Farm

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Ban Ki-moon: World on course to run out of water

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John Parnell
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said business as usual will mean demand for freshwater outstripping supply (Source: UN/Mark Garten)
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Speaking on the UN’s International Day of Biological Diversity, Ban said there was a “mutually reinforcing” relationship between biodiversity and water that should be harnessed.

“We live in an increasingly water insecure world where demand often outstrips supply and where water quality often fails to meet minimum standards. Under current trends, future demands for water will not be met,” Ban said. ... Read more about Ban Ki-moon: World on course to run out of water

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No end to poverty without better governance

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Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Noor Jahan, 5, sleeps on chalk drawings she made as her mother begs for alms at a railway station in Mumbai, on Dec. 7, 2012. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
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In April the World Bank governors endorsed two historic goals: to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to ensure that prosperity is shared. It will take a lot to end poverty: strong growth, more infrastructure investments, increased agricultural productivity, better business environments, jobs, good education, and quality health care. We have to do more of this in tough places, particularly those that are fragile and conflict-affected. ... Read more about No end to poverty without better governance

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We can end poverty, but the methods might surprise you

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John Podesta, Casey Dunning
South Africa has written food, water and health care protections into its constitution. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images
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"Ending extreme poverty in all its forms" is no longer a platitude or a dream for development experts – it's the guiding vision of the United Nations High Level Panel, as well as an achievement that's closer to being realized than ever before, thanks to the millennium development goals. ... Read more about We can end poverty, but the methods might surprise you

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World seed banks get funds to tackle climate, other threats

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Alister Doyle
Reuters
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OSLO, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Scientists have agreed on a $109 million plan to strengthen the world's biggest seed banks of crops such as rice and wheat to help protect and develop new varieties resistant to climate change and other threats.

The Global Crop Diversity Trust and the CGIAR Consortium of agricultural researchers said on Thursday that a five-year plan would help secure storage of more than 700,000 samples of crops at 11 existing gene banks from the Philippines to Belgium. ... Read more about World seed banks get funds to tackle climate, other threats

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