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Stronger roots: Growing resilient forests in Samoa

If you look beyond the coral reefs and blue lagoons of Samoa, you will see mountain ranges rising up from within the islands, carpeted in thick forest. Samoa’s forests, which cover around 60 percent of the land, play a critical role in the country’s diverse ecosystem. Tree roots serve to prevent soi More

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Preserving biodiversity, protecting livelihoods in Burundi

Located in northeastern Burundi, the Ruvubu National Park is the country’s largest protected ecosystem. Spread over more than 50 000 hectares, it is home to rare species of plants and animals such as buffaloes. However, this unique ecosystem is threatened by poaching, bush fires, woodcutting, and by More

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Light reaches rural communities in the Dominican Republic

After the fall of darkness in the town of La Cabirma, along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, the muted glow of kerosene lamps and cuaba, or pine kindling, used to be the only source of light for residents. While oil for kerosene lamps was expensive, eating away at villagers' meagre earn More

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India: Conserving medicinal plants, sustaining livelihoods

At 52, Janaki Devi, a traditional healer in the state of Uttarakhand, India, may not have received a formal education, yet the proficiency with which she prescribes herbal medicines has people travelling from far and wide to consult her. Up until a few years ago, traditional healers like Janaki inhe More

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Organic farming breaks new ground in Zimbabwe

The Makoni Organic Farmers Association, developed to transition away from tobacco cultivation and chemical-intensive agriculture, is leading the way in environmental conservation and sustainable use of resources.  “In organic agriculture, we do not need to buy fertilizers or struggle to raise m More

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Panama: Islanders integrate biodiversity conservation

Residents of the Pearl Islands and other archipelagoes in the Gulf of Panama always got everything from the sea. But now the islanders say the fish population is steadily declining, and so are jobs. Andrés Ramirez, a boat captain who services commuters between the islands, faces a diminishing incom More

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Marshall Islands: Protecting drinking water from drought and sea level rise

By the time the Government declared a state of emergency in 2013, the wells had long run dry in the drought-stricken northern reaches of the Marshall Islands, and families had started fleeing to the capital Majuro. This idyllic paradise is set so low in the ocean that there are few freshwater reserv More

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In Ghana, a victory for energy efficiency

“I don’t have anything against old things, but when it comes to refrigerators, I can find a million reasons why new is better than old,” says George Effah Baffoe, a retired engineer and father of five as he turns in his old refrigerator for a new, energy-efficient one. Together, the 2 million fridg More

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In Cambodia, solar panels bring light to rural homes

In Cambodia, rural households that are off the national grid must use generators to recharge car batteries to get electricity. But in Kampong Chhnang Province, residents now have another option. In Por and Trabek villages, solar panels convert sunlight into electrical energy, which is channeled thro More

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For one Honduran community, night lights up at last

Almost one century after the isolated village of Plan Grande in northern Honduras was founded, its inhabitants were still living in semi-darkness. To tackle this problem, a UNDP-supported project helped build a hydroelectric power plant, eliminating the use of fuel, candles and batteries. Of the 80 More