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A weekly digest on impacts, politics and science of the climate emergency; from the Global South perspective. Access our extensive coverage on climate. You can find this newsletter in the web here.
August 21 - August 26, 2020
Dear readers,

The post COVID-19 rebuilding efforts offer great opportunities for climate action and for sustainable development more generally. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including those related to housing, sanitation and access to green spaces demand particular attention; indeed the whole concept of sustainable cities needs to be revisited. And the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) can enable climate resilient sustainable development if they were to become a more general source of development finance, rather than being allocated as a mere one-time measure to deal with the crisis, as is presently the case. As for the government of India it can take a wide spectrum of measures to reduce emissions. But above all, it needs to cease prioritizing short-term needs over long-term ones, institutionalize climate risk assessment and build a new eco-institutionalism.

The importance of such measures is underlined by a new study which found that nearly 15 per cent of the area under rice and maize cultivation in India had been affected by flash droughts between 1951 and 2018, with central and eastern India particularly prone to the phenomena. And the rising incidence of extreme weather was highlighted this week as two near-simultaneous Atlantic Ocean hurricanes sparked fears that they may combine to form a mega hurricane due to the so-called Fujiwhara effect.

Solutions to the climate crisis need, above all, to empower local communities, as a new study of forest restoration projects in poor countries emphasized. And in Ghana, biochar application is helping raise yields and enabling smallholders to combat the impact of climate change on the soil.
Extreme weather: Understanding birds’ response can help conservation efforts| 25 August 2020
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Down To Earth Flash droughts hit nearly 15% rice, maize areas in 1951-2018 monsoons: Study| 26 August 2020
Tropical storms Marco, Laura head for the Gulf of Mexico, spark Fujiwhara effect scare| 24 August 2020
Simultaneous formation of two storms in western Atlantic Ocean creates Fujiwhara effect scare, that happens when 2 hurricanes combine to form a mega hurricane
Post-COVID-19: Govt has opportunity to build eco-institutionalism| 25 August 2020
Long-term planning needs standardising data to monitor environment, institutionalising climate-risk assessment
How an urban planner undertook green recovery in Telangana’s 72 ULBs| 25 August 2020
Extensive mapping, designing of parks with detailed cost estimates and implementation frameworks were prepared as part of the project
What COVID-19 can mean for SDG-11, sustainable cities and communities in India| 24 August 2020
As urban vulnerabilities are amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea of sustainable cities in Sustainable Development Goals needs to be revisited and put in action
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Reunion dengue study claims climate data can help predict disease outbreaks| 26 August 2020
Sub-seasonal climate forecasts from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts model were incorporated into a vector model that generated predictions of mosquito populations
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Empower communities to restore forests: Study| 26 August 2020
Crucial forest-restoration areas in low-income countries — home to 12 per cent of their total population — can have an impact on carbon sequestration projects and local livelihoods
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Biochar application can help Ghana’s smallholder farmers fight back climate change: Study| 25 August 2020
New research shows biochar application is more effective in promoting cowpea growth and yield in Ghana
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COVID-19: Redistributing unused Special Drawing Rights can help build back greener| 24 August 2020
Sustainable recovery needs to trump politics at IMF to provide access to stable finance in accordance with climate goals
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How our food choices cut into forests and put us closer to viruses| 21 August 2020
The food most associated with biodiversity loss also tends to also be connected to unhealthy diets across the globe
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This Weekly Newsletter is published by Down to Earth and the Centre for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based global think tank advocating on global south developmment issues.
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