All in The Guardian

There have been more than 2,200 fires in the Philippines capital so far this year, mostly in slum areas. One scorching afternoon this month, inhabitants of a slum in the Philippines capital frantically hurled buckets of water to try to save their homes from a raging fire. Six hours later, their efforts proved to no avail. In a country with a yawning wealth gap, the hardest hit are the hundreds of thousands of urban poor who call the shanties home.

View Picture Essay »

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet. A new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Read article »

With Burundi gripped by violence in the prelude to a controversial referendum vote on 17 May, the conflict in her home country is this time drawn along political rather than ethnic lines. The vote could allow the extension of Pierre Nkurunziza’s term from five to seven years, paving the way for him to stay in power until 2034, as the proposed changes would allow him to stand for re-election despite having already served three terms.

Read article »

The Xikrin, who have lived alongside the Cateté river in the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil for centuries, have a mantra: “The river is our life.” But the River Cateté is dying, and with it the way of life of the Xikrin. In 2010 Mineração Onça Puma, a company owned by the mining company Vale, began extracting nickel in the nearby hills, which have tributaries flowing into the Cateté. Vale is one of the world’s largest producers of nickel.

Read article »

Late last year, as the South African government faced the prospect of its largest city running out of water, they took an unprecedented gamble. The government announced “day zero” – a moment when dam levels would be so low that they would turn off the taps in Cape Town and send people to communal water collection points. This apocalyptic notion prompted water stockpiling and panic, caused a drop in tourism bookings, and raised the spectre of civil unrest. It also worked.

Read article »