Environmental Politics

Africa Notes: Good news about water for Africa






BBC News – ‘Huge’ water resource exists under Africa. Unfortunately, Ghana’s water resources (where I worked on water issues as a Peace Corps Volunteer) don’t look particularly impressive here. Still, good news for the continent.

Noted: Climate Change, Global Politics, and International Law






Earth Day is this Sunday and in both of my classes we are discussing the politics and international law of climate change this week and next. So I thought it might be a good opportunity to examine the recent news. Fragmented Global Governance and Climate Change A quick look at Reuter’s Diary on the Global…

GEP Course Notes: Oil in Africa






Drilling Africa’s Arctic | Thought Leader. The Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest Unesco World Heritage Site, is situated along the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda. It contains more species of mammals, reptiles and birds than any other protected area on the continent. It has an exceptional diversity of landscapes…

GEP Course Notes: Conservation in Africa, the Elephant






African elephants have been a major subject recently. News reports state that… At least half the elephant population in Cameroon’s Bouba N’Djida reserve have been slaughtered because the west African nation sent too few security forces to tackle poachers. (Reuters) Over at Africa Unchained, Julie Owono notes that there is a major capacity problem for…

GEP Course Notes: Developing Countries and Climate Change






Bad News First: Kiribati’s President is trying to save his people by buying land in Fiji: “Rising Sea Levels Are Forcing this Entire Island Nation to Move to Another Island.” Now the Good News: Columbia’s Earth Institute Blog is reporting that Ethiopia has developed a new online climate service that can provide much needed data…

GEP Course Notes: Game Theoretic Approaches






Scott Barrett’s Environment and Statecraft heavily relies on game theory to make its arguments about environmental treaty-making. But what are the strengths and weaknesses of this approach? Well, first it is important to note that Barrett has a lot of company with his approach. A nice article written in the Atlantic Monthly back in 1993,…

Noted: Climate Change Edition






Some good news: “U.S., 5 Nations to Cut Methane, Soot Emissions” But also some bad news, and some just not-so-great-news, on the climate front: Uganda’s glaciers are disappearing (not really new news, but there are some great pictures on the BBC website). Also on the BBC website: Canada is “muzzling its scientists” I”m not sure…

Ghana: Waste, lagoons, and deserts






Besides some concerns about oil’s impact on the environment in Ghana, there have been a number of other recent stories that remind us that Ghana’s environmental problems are far more widespread and diversified. Waste Disposal One of the biggest issues is the problem of waste disposal (or the lack thereof).As Fiona Leonard mentions in her…

Looking for a Green Superhero and found… Gisele?






I was teaching about compliance and effectiveness in global environmental governance this week. So I decided-for fun-to look for an image of a “Green” Superhero (to symbolize enforcement problems).  This is what my Google search dredged up. Needless to say, my students and I found it entertaining: The Case of the Lawless Loggers- Gisele and…

The spread of norms and the UN vote to make access to water a human right






A friend from my Peace Corps days posted on Facebook the UN press release that the General Assembly has adopted a resolution “Recognizing Access to Clean Water, Sanitation as Human Right, By Recorded Vote of 122 in Favour, None Against, 41 Abstentions.” This isn’t exactly getting major press coverage. And, indeed, just because the UN…