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How to build back better after a hurricane... and before the next

Imagine relocating the entire population of your country in the face of a colossal hurricane and two months later still not being able to get back…


The 'whole of islands' approach

Einstein pointed out that “the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” When sea-levels rise, resources run thin and politics enters the conversation, however, our…  


Business models that improve lives while protecting the environment: Lessons from the Philippines

To date, many business actors involved in poverty alleviation and environmental protection have operated in silos, largely disconnected from each other. Both sectors follow ecosystem approaches, but…  


Working together for sustainable palm oil

Heated debates have surrounded the palm oil sector in Indonesia and its access to export markets, including the European Union. The issue is crucial for Indonesia as the world’s largest palm oil…  


Shattering glass ceilings – and walls

Halfway through fourth grade, I opened my report card and saw that my teacher had given me a C for ‘behaviour’. Understandably, it shocked my parents. I had always gotten top grades in class. I was…  


How a2i is using empathy to foster innovation in Bangladesh

In the last eight years, Bangladesh has established a new development paradigm through its approach to socio-economic development which is high growth yet inclusive, self-reliant yet collaborative,…  


Drones join the fight against climate change risks in the Maldives

I love drones. I have one that I fly when I want to de-stress. Little did I know when I bought it that I could actually play with it at work! It all started about a year ago. As senior advisor on…  


Development in 2 minutes: It’s about expanding choices

Every week, at least one person asks me, “So what does the United Nations Development Programme do?” They want to know what the "development" is that we are trying to achieve, and what our "programme"…  


The fear factor: How a little alarm protects tigers, landscapes – and us

“Alarm call!” My 12-year old daughter whispered. Fear was in the air, and a successful tiger safari depends on it. The alarm calls of spotted deer, Hanuman langur and even the gigantic Gaur – the…  



Capacity development – the only sustainable way to implement the Paris Agreement

On September 22, 2016, Uganda became one of the first African countries to ratify the Paris Agreement - a milestone that made me reflect on the two years I spent in the country as the UNDP Climate…  


A changing climate throws water out of balance in Asia and the Pacific

Every morning I jump on the Chao Phraya Express Boat to get to work. It’s a short trip, but on yet another sultry morning in Bangkok, it’s nice to feel the breeze as we slice through the muddy waters…  


For Pacific countries, tomorrow is too late to act on climate change

The drought caused by El Niño in Palau has essentially halted life for many Palauans since March. An increasing number of Tuvaluans are displaced by sea level rise, and 64 communities in Fiji will…  


To leave no one behind, Least Developed Countries need new financing tools

At the UN General Assembly last September, 193 countries adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an ambitious new agenda for sustainable development to be achieved over the next fifteen…  


Financing the SDGs in the Pacific: Maximizing new opportunities

Pacific island countries such as Kiribati, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are among the countries most vulnerable to extreme weather events and climate change. Just last year, Cyclone Pam ripped through Vanuatu…  


Nepal: A lesson in the risks climate change poses to disaster-prone countries

As relief assistance rushes to Nepal after the earthquake, those efforts are being hampered by a number of factors. Weak existing infrastructure means many critical roads have been damaged. Remote…  

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