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Reviving Iran's drylands

Zari Sa’adati, a 35-year-old woman living in Eastern Iran, used to fear she could not support her family in the barren environment of Hossein Abad valley. “My family was about to migrate to the city nearby in search of a living,” she says. Degraded by over-grazing, wood-cutting for fuel, and severe More

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In Egypt, small farmers embrace the entrepreneurial spirit

When the Arab Spring blew over Egypt in early 2011, most investors predicted chaos and fled, pushing already massive unemployment even higher and plunging the economy into profound uncertainty. But Mohamed Embarak, a farmer in Upper Egypt, saw only opportunity. With four others, Embarak invested his More

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Village savings group keeps livelihoods afloat in Cambodia

Srun Bun Thuon, a fisherman from the Koh Kong province on the southwestern coast of Cambodia, saw his family’s life crumble seven years ago when he had to sell off his house to repay a microfinance debt. “Even our daughter’s earrings were not spared. I took them off her ears to sell to pay off the d More

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Reaping the fruits of technology in FYR Macedonia

“This is the one everyone knows from cartoons – the little worm in the apple,” explains Eftim Petkovski, scooping the larva of a codling moth from an apple in his orchard in Resen. “But it’s no joke, I can tell you – if we farmers don’t spray for them early on, all our livelihoods are at risk. More

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Restored canal gives Cambodian farmers much-needed boost

Farmer Tous Sok Heang carefully jots down the number on the scale each time a sack of rice is weighed, and a rice buyer does the same. When the last sack is lifted from the scale, the buyer hands her a down payment of US $200, promising to pay the rest later. “We are rich today,” Tous Sok Heang joke More

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Reforestation project brings life and growth to Haitian communities

Troimène Siméon grows nostalgic as she looks out at the barren mountains surrounding the town of Aquin, in southern Haiti. A mother of one, she dreams of seeing Haiti as green as it once was. “Reforestation is life,” says Troimène, one of a group of women working for a reforestation project in her h More

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Nicaragua: Electricity empowers rural communities

Maribel Ubeda is among the 4,400 families from eight rural communities in Nicaragua who gained access to electricity when a new 300 kilowatt micro-hydropower plant was inaugurated by local authorities in her village. “When they first told us about this project, people in my community didn’t believe More

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Biomass fuel brings jobs and energy independence to Moldova

The kindergarten in the village of Ermoclia has declared its independence — energy independence, that is. Instead of struggling to keep students warm with expensive imported gas, the kindergarten now heats up with locally produced biomass fuels. It’s good for the children and the environment t More

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Restoring hope in the future for Prespa Lake, FYR Macedonia

“We used to do a lot of things without thinking about the effects on the environment,” says Naume Toskovski, an apple farmer in the Prespa Lakes region of Macedonia. “We didn’t know that dumping apples would pollute the water.” The beautiful but environmentally vulnerable region of the Prespa Lake B More

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In Gaza, safe water supply changes lives

Water is scarce in the occupied Palestinian territory and supplies barely meet the needs of the Palestinian people. More than 13 percent of the population currently has no access to running water, and many of the existing water facilities are dilapidated. Water quality is very poor: only 7 percent o More