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January 2021 marked a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, with over two million people dead. Since the new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) emerged on the global stage in early 2020, an historical and unprecedented effort has been deployed to quell this global health crisis. As we settle into a new year with increased optimism following the successful development of vaccines against COVID-19, we are turning our sights toward the future, with critical policy questions in mind.
The plight of people migrating in the context of environmental degradation, climate change impacts and natural disasters and the potential governance responses to such challenges have received a lot of attention in recent years. Therefore, the finalization of the text of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCN) in July 2018 represents an important milestone for many of the policymakers and practitioners working on environmental migration matters.
If you track science in the news regularly, you may have noticed the release of the IPBES Assessment Report on Land Degradation and Restoration, a landmark global scientific assessment of land degradation and restoration and its summary for policy makers. Most of the press reported the almost unfathomable extent of the problem. About 75% of all land is impacted by degradation. This is compromising the well-being of nearly half of the people on Earth and costing 10% of the annual global gross product in lost ecosystem services. The impending doom is not to be taken lightly. But the press reports obscure a wealth of information in the Assessment, which can lead to solutions