Congo-Kinshasa: Sexual Violence Exacerbates National Aids Epidemic

By Allyn Gaestel


11 February 2010

Sexual violence used as a weapon of war in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo continues unabated as more than a decade of conflict in the area drags on. This week the world has again turned its eyes to this ongoing issue, as new figures released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) stated that over 8,000 women were raped in the region in 2009….Read full article

World Cup in South Africa poses potential for public health risks and reforms

By Allyn Gaestel

16 January 2010 [MediaGlobal]: South Africa will be hosting the 2010 World Cup this summer, and as the country prepares for an influx of tourism, sex worker advocates and public health groups are mobilizing for new health policies. HIV and AIDS pose as significant health risk to South Africans and tourists. The country has one of the highest HIV rates in the world at 18.1 percent. A coalition formed between the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and South Africa’s Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Task Force (SWEAT) is working to decriminalize sex work during the tournament, with the potential of extending legal reform beyond the tournament into a long-term national strategy…Read full article

Local communities combat desertification in Northern Mali’s Lake Faguibine Region

By Allyn Gaestel

17 December 2009 [MEDIAGLOBAL]: The Lake Faguibine region in Northern Mali was once a thriving water system. Communities were built around the source, with agricultural and pastoral lifestyles dependent on the natural resource. However in the past hundred years the lake has experienced fluctuations of drought, completely drying up in 1914, 1924 and 1944, and remaining at drastically low levels since the 1970s.

In the past 40 years droughts have led to hundreds of thousands of human deaths and the loss of millions of livestock. Climate change has already had a visibly disastrous impact on this area and without local and global mitigation efforts the situation can only worsen…Read full article

“Land grabbing” creates tensions as countries combat local and global food insecurity

By Allyn Gaestel

17 December 2009 [MEDIAGLOBAL]: Once able to sustain its population of 30 million with local agriculture, Saudi Arabia now anticipates importing all of its wheat by 2016, according to Reuters. Saudi Arabia’s aquifers are drying up as a result of climate change, which has led to a massive decline in local wheat harvests…Read full article

Illegal logging in Madagascar exacerbates climate change

By Allyn Gaestel

16 December 2009 [MEDIAGLOBAL]: Fast paced illegal logging in Madagascar is causing environmental damage and contributing to climate change.

The trafficking and exporting of rosewood and ebony trees is quickly diminishing the forests on this island country. The trees are being harvested primarily in the northern SAVA region in two protected national parks, Masoala and Marojejy. This strongly undermines the sanctity of these protected areas and is having an immediate impact on the local climate…Read full article