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When water efficiency increases water risk: the need for context-based water targets

© Istockphoto.com / WWF-Canada Shared water challenges in agriculture Few places on Earth illustrate shared water challenges and water risk like California’s Central Valley. The fertile valley, endowed with extensive groundwater supplies, also harnesses the snowpack and rivers of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and combines with extensive sunshine to create one of the most important […]

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About elephants… and history lessons

It was 1986 when I boarded a flight to Tanzania and Botswana to write an article about the elephant crisis for the Italian equivalent of National Geographic. Yes, we have been here before. In the 80s we lived through the first dramatic post-colonial wave of elephant poaching. The demand back then was driven by different countries, […]

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Battle to save the threshers

I saw my first thresher shark back in 2013, 30 metres below the surface of the Visayan Sea, as night turned to day above. An hour earlier my now wife and I had boarded an outrigger in the dark with other excited divers on the sleepy island of Malapascua in the central Philippines, and headed […]

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Better cotton, better lives

Umul Baneen is a hard-working woman from Maqboolabad, a rural town in the heart of Punjab in Pakistan’s cotton-growing region. I had the pleasure to meet her and her husband, and hear their story as part of my work as coordinator for WWF’s Sustainable Cotton Initiative. This work aims to improve the lives and livelihoods […]

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Will the real New Beer Co please stand up?

Last year it was announced that Anheuser-Busch InBev (the world’s largest beer company) would purchase SABMiller (the second largest) for US$106 billion. The company that emerges from this takeover – once brands are sold off and regulatory commissions give the OK – will not only amount to the largest beverage company, but also the most […]

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Water crises: when risks become real

My country, Zambia, doesn’t make international news very often. But recently, from The New York Times, to Al Jazeera to Bloomberg, Zambia is in the headlines. Once the fastest growing economy in Africa, Zambia’s economic growth projections have now been halved. Businesses and communities are suffering, and the government has now reached out to the […]

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Silent Skies?

I have always loved birds and was delighted to be asked to write a few words about this year’s World Migratory Bird Day. The only problem being that I was so busy watching migratory birds over our long Ascension weekend (as May is THE month when the bulk of the spring migrants pass), that I […]

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What future for the Mediterranean Sea?

It’s not every day we glimpse our future. But if we did, what would we change about our actions today? This year, we have the privilege to take a peek at what the Mediterranean Sea may look like in 15-20 years. But let me take a step back. It’s almost Christmas 2015 and we are […]

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High stakes for the high seas

The large meeting room at the United Nations room was full to the point of bursting as governments, assisted by NGOs and other groups, gathered to start developing the first new treaty for oceans in over 20 years. As the European Union representative placed the Easter bunny on the table – it was Easter Monday, […]

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