Maximpact Blog

Quenching Human Thirst Creates a Salty Problem

CarlsbadDesalPlant

The fast-rising number of desalination plants worldwide, with capacity concentrated in the Middle East and North Africa, satisfy a growing thirst for fresh drinking water but create a salty dilemma – how to safely deal with all the chemical-laden leftover brine.

+Read More

Capacity Building is Building the Capacity to Grow

Capacity-building presentation at 21st Annual Meeting of National Authorities that are parties to The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an intergovernmental organisation that is the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention. November 6, 2019, The Hague, The Netherlands (Photo courtesy OPCW) Creative commons license via Flickr

“Frequently invisible, and often overlooked, capacity building is the all-important ‘infrastructure’ that supports and shapes charitable nonprofits into forces for good,” declares the National Council of Nonprofits based in Washington, DC, the largest existing U.S. network of nonprofit organizations.

+Read More

Refugee Camps Rely on Renewables

Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp made the switch to clean energy in November 2017 with the inauguration of the largest solar power plant ever built in a refugee setting. (Photo by Yousef Al Hariri courtesy UNHCR) Posted for media use

In Iraq, displaced people struggle with the loss of electric power as blackouts and brownouts remain frequent even at grid-connected settlements, leaving refugees and the humanitarian community dependent on expensive, polluting diesel generators. In Ethiopia, most refugees lack any reliable access at all to electric lighting.

+Read More

Children, Hope of the World, At Risk

Children of trainee carpet weavers at an in-house kindergarten at the Afghan Bazar Carpet Company in Mazar-e Sharif, in northern Afghanistan's Balkh Province. December 3, 2019 (Photo courtesy International Labour Organisation Asia-Pacific) Creative Commons license via Flickr

Young people are his greatest source of hope, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the world in his New Year’s message today. “From climate action to gender equality to social justice and human rights, your generation is on the frontlines and in the headlines,” he said. “I am inspired by your passion and determination.”

+Read More

Billions Pledged at First Global Refugee Forum

Azeem, 27, at his shop in Karachi, Pakistan. Afghan refugees like Azeem have recently been allowed to open bank accounts. 2019 (Photo by Roger Arnold courtesy UNHCR)

The world’s first Global Refugee Forum ended Wednesday with hundreds of pledges and a “decisive shift” in approach. More than 770 pledges were made that ranged from financial support to more inclusive government policies to improving access to refugee employment, education, clean energy and resettlement.

+Read More

Weak COP25 Outcome Disappoints, Despite Achievements

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses thousands of delegates from around the world, opening the UN’s annual climate conference, COP25, Dec. 2, Madrid, Spain (Photo courtesy Earth Negotiations Bulletin)

Climate negotiations lasting 16 days have failed to find common ground on international carbon trading rules, one of the important issues at the UN’s COP25 climate summit in Madrid, which wrapped Sunday with a weak accord despite urging from the United Nations and civil society groups to address the climate emergency with “ambition.”

+Read More

Courageous Young People Battle Climate Crisis

Illinois Youth Climate Strike marchers start out from Millennium Park in Chicago in solidarity with demonstrations at the UN climate conference, COP25, in Madrid, December 6, 2019 (Photo by Ted Cox / One Illinois) Posted for media use

As environmental disasters unfolded across the world in 2019, it is fearless children and young adults who have dared to speak out in defense of their rights to a safe and healthy future with a liveable climate, clean air and clean water.

+Read More

Refugees Pour into Overcrowded Greek Camp

GrandiRefugeesMoria

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, visited the Reception and Identification Centre in Moria – Lesvos on Wednesday to witness first-hand the human cost of flawed migration policies that have stranded over 39,000 people in overcrowded, dangerous refugee camps.

+Read More

Healing the Plastic-Sick Seas

GullPlastic

More than 300 million tons of plastic are produced annually around the world, yet less than 10 percent of all plastic is recycled. Instead, at least eight million metric tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans each year, equal to a garbage truck every minute.

+Read More

UN Strives to Secure Human Rights of Children

GirlArrested

More than 5.4 million children are detained around the world, human rights experts said on Monday, blaming “aggressive” State counterterrorism measures for the spike in youngsters held for alleged links with armed conflict or national security concerns based on their social media posts.

+Read More

The Race for Rare Earths

Magnetcubes

The European Union is aiming for a reliable supply of rare earth minerals and so is everyone else in Brussels this week for the EU’s fourth annual Raw Materials Week. Adding to the urgency of securing supplies, across the Atlantic, the United States and Australia Monday signed their own rare earth mining and supply agreement.

+Read More

World Scientists Declare Climate Emergency

RippleWilliam

A global coalition of more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries says “untold human suffering” is unavoidable without deep and lasting shifts in human activities that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and other factors related to climate change.

+Read More

Investors Embrace China

ShanghaiSkyline

More than 80 percent of investors globally plan to increase their organizations’ allocation to investments in China over the next 12 months, finds a new survey undertaken by a specialized team within the 175-year-old London-based “Economist” magazine.

+Read More

Mastering the E-Waste Merry-go-round

ZhaoHoulin

Since becoming Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2014, Houlin Zhao has upgraded his mobile phone three times, and, he says, every time, the old mobile was recycled or donated to charity for further use. But this is not the case for all mobile phones around the world.

+Read More