18 July 2016   Leave a comment

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is warning of a serious food shortage in South Sudan.   Violence in the young country has led to a ransacking of food supplies stored by the FAO and has also disrupted the harvesting of crops.  Although there are peacekeeping forces in South Sudan, they have been ineffective in stemming the conflict between the Dinka and the Nuer.  Uganda’s President Museveni has also come out against a UN proposal for an arms embargo on the country, making it even less likely that the violence can be contained.

The Sundarbans mangrove forest in Bangladesh, the largest mangrove forest in the world, is threatened by the building of coal-fired power plants nearby.  Mangrove forests are incredible habitats for a very large number of plant and animal species.  But mangroves are very sensitive trees, living in the borderland between fresh and sea water.  The world has already lost about 35% of its mangrove forests and as a consequence it has lost an very effective barrier against tropical storms.  The projected protection of the forest demonstrates the tension between economic growth and environmental concerns.

Sundarbans Mangrove Forest

There is evidence that there is a growing nationalist response in China to the decision of the International Arbitration Court in the Hague against Chinese claims in the South China Sea. Nationalism is a dangerous emotion, but it differs from culture to culture and system to system.    In China, nationalism can be a tool for the Communist Party, but it can also be used to refer to a time when the Communist Party did not rule in China.  We will have to see if the government is held hostage to this movement or whether it uses nationalism to assert its claims in the South China Sea.

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Posted July 18, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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