Publications By Category

Publications By Type
Articles

Books

In-House Bulletins

Monographs

Policy Papers


Archive




Resource Security Watch - No. 10

Edited by Chloe Thompson
December 20, 2017


START-UP WORKING ON FLOATING CITY PROTOTYPE
Blue Frontiers, a start-up formed earlier this year, is pursuing an agreement with the government of French Polynesia to build a prototype of a floating city by 2020. The practice is known as sea-steading, and involves private companies building cities on the ocean. French Polynesia has created a special economic zone for the project, which includes 100 hundred acres of beachfront land. Blue Frontier plans to build approximately 12 buildings at the site by 2020, including homes, hotels, and restaurants. Joe Quirk, a managing director of the venture, has described the project as a potential "start-up country." While floating cities are still primarily theoretical, they offer a potential solution to range of environmental challenges, including rising sea levels and population growth. (
New York Times, November 13, 2017)

CHINA'S PLAN TO REENGINEER TIBET'S ENVIRONMENT
China plans to use solar power to melt permafrost in Nagqu, Tibet to allow trees to grow in a near-polar climate. The project is intended to make the land "more welcoming for Han settlers and soldiers struggling to cope emotionally with the treeless setting." Other efforts to force trees to grow in the area over the past several decades, including the use of greenhouses and nutrient cocktails, have all failed. Scientists have grave concerns over the plan, which would fundamentally alter Tibet's ecological balance and have consequences that are difficult to predict. Furthermore, Tibetan families have relied on the precise environmental calibration of Nagqu for generations, and the plan could significantly damage the region and disrupt people's way of life. (
South China Morning Post, November 18, 2017)

CRISIS IN THE LAKE CHAD BASIN
7.2 million people in the Lake Chad basin have reached crisis levels of food insecurity, the United Nations' humanitarian monitoring watchdog has found. The causes for the crisis, according to Relief Web, are manifold. Some 2.3 million people are estimated to have been displaced to date throughout the region, which suffers frequent attacks from Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram. These man-made stressors are exacerbated by naturally occurring ones - namely, that Lake Chad itself is shrinking, causing new challenges when locals try to farm or fish. Chronic challenges in local governance, meanwhile, make addressing these concerns difficult, with little local relief or international assistance in sight. (
Relief Web, November 19, 2017)

GLACIAL MELT PROVIDES PERU WITH A NEW WATER SOURCE... FOR NOW
Glacial melt in the past several decades in the Andes has provided formerly arid land with abundant water supplies in South America. Over 100,000 acres of what was previously desert have become fertile plots of land, and the region now grows more than 8,000 tons of produce per year. However, this prosperity is not indefinite. The amount of water produced by glacial melt is on the decline, and scientists predict that the icecaps feeding the melt will be gone by 2050. Andean glaciers represent the primary source of water for the dry northern coast, where 60 percent of Peruvians live. And as these glaciers melt away, water supplies throughout the region will decline. The Santa River, a vital regional water source, could ultimately lose up to 30 percent of its hydrological supply during dry seasons. (
New York Times, November 26, 2017)

THE FORECAST FOR GLOBAL FAMINE
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network predicts that significant food needs will continue throughout 2018, with 76 million people needing emergency assistance through the year. Encouragingly, this figure is lower than the 83 million people who required food assistance in 2017. The decline between 2017 and 2018 is largely due to improvements in conditions and food availability in Southern Africa. However, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria will all continue to face IPC Phase 5 Famine, while Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic republic of Congo will face continuing food security emergencies due to ongoing conflicts. (
FEWS.NET
, November 28, 2017)


Related Categories: Latin America; Africa; Energy Security; China

Downloadable Files: N/A