Articles on Development

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Some cardboard trees made by Hugo Boss and painted by children, because: sustainability! Geoff Caddick/PA

It’s time to ban the empty word ‘sustainability’

While the idea of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that became all the rage some time ago initially had worthwhile aims, it is now more commonly used by corporations to out-worthy their competitors…
Google says it can change the world with its Loon balloons. iLighter

Spreading the net takes more than balloons and bombast

A flurry of initiatives aimed at connecting the billions – mainly in Africa – who still do not have access to the internet are underway. A few weeks ago, Google’s possibly aptly named Project Loon was…
Moving with the times. Mobile phones are a vital tool in African banking. whiteafrican

Bitcoin fuels Africa’s banking revolution

Bitcoin has landed in Kenya. The online currency that was, until recently, the preserve of tech entrepreneurs and only the most pioneering financiers, is to go mainstream in Nairobi while the rest of us…
Universities do have a role to play in helping developing countries. University image from www.shutterstock.com

Universities and the poorest billion

The following is based on the Monash Richard Larkins Oration given by Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University last night in Melbourne. You can read and listen to our In…
Non-communicable diseases are the silent assassins in global health. Risk exposure begins in early childhood, and accumulates across the lifespan. michaelwhays

One year on, what has the UN meeting on non-communicable diseases achieved?

What causes two out of every three deaths in the world, has been described by the Director-General of the World Health Organisation as “a slow motion disaster” and by the Secretary-General of the UN a…
It’s easy to find examples of good development in national parks - Cradle Mountain Lodge, for example - and examples of where it hasn’t worked. Michael Dawes

Is nature-based tourism development really what our national parks need?

You’d be hard pushed to find someone who doesn’t love national parks, either as visitors or as reasonably-minded bystanders. But can those parks be loved to death? And, if so, who should step in to help…
Why is philanthropist Melinda Gates dedicating the rest of her life to improving women’s access to contraception? DFID UK Department for International Development

Contraception: best for women, babies and the planet

Melinda Gates’ vow to put the availability of contraception back on the global health agenda – even if it means going against the Pope – has provided a welcome voice for logic and compassion. Speaking…
As many as one in four girls in the Pacific aged between 15 and 19 years are already mothers. Graham Crumb

Life saver: why Pacific women deserve contraceptive choice

World leaders, international donors, government officials from developing countries and civil society organisations gathered at the London Summit on Family Planning overnight to support the right of women…
We need to take a better look at the role women can play in the Millenium Devlopment Goals. AAP/EPA/Harish Tyagi

Challenge 11: How improving women’s status helps us all

In part 11 of the multi-disciplinary Millennium Project series, Danielle Logue and Mel Dunn note the striking absence of male voices in discussions of women’s empowerment, despite it being fundamental…
Land of the snow gums: Australian forests are dynamic. Flickr/SplaTT

Australia’s vast and dynamic forest cover: a bird’s-eye view

Forests spark emotional debates in Australia. Much of the rhetoric is about saving “the last of Tasmania’s wild forests” or how we must “stop logging in Australian native forests”. Australian forests…
Facing tough questions: NSW’s planning review must grapple with competing visions of development. Flickr/Askew One

Under review: rival visions for people and communities

Later this year Brad Hazzard, NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, faces a difficult decision. Will he prepare new state planning legislation that prioritises a desired outcome: healthy, functional…
Questions of planetary power: a mere 0.3% of transnational corporations control 40% of global revenue. Flickr/paul (dex)

Planet under Pressure 2012: here’s the wrap

The Planet Under Pressure 2012 Conference was held in London a fortnight back and released the first State of the Planet Declaration. The conference aim was to set out the science (in a broad sense) in…
Will the UN recommendations pull people out of poverty and reduce pressure on the environment? The Advocacy Project

UN sustainability panel says put a price on the environment

A recent cartoon (below) extrapolates the use of the word “sustainable”. It predicts that in 50 years each sentence will on average contain the word at least once. The cartoon is clever, and “sustainable…
Aung San Suu Kyi’s release from house arrest in November last year was a very significant step towards reform in Burma. EPA/Mizzima News

The world can do much more to help Burma change

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is cautious, but says we are seeing the first signs of change in Burma, but the government there still needs to do more for its people. He is correct in saying “It is in our…
The world’s population is racing ahead compared to growth in the rest of the world. AAP/Dean Lewins

Sustaining 7 billion: Australia’s part in planning for population growth

SEVEN BILLION PEOPLE: As the global population passed the seven billion mark yesterday (give or take a few months – the data aren’t exact), Australia’s resident population will reach about 22.75 million…
Women will be the key to dealing with the growth in population. Flickr/PhotograTree

Seven billion reasons to be a feminist

SEVEN BILLION PEOPLE: I had better write fast. Sometime between my deadline to submit this story and the time it goes live, the estimated world population will exceed 7 billion for the first time ever…
Developing smaller urban areas may mean better employment and living conditions for migrant workers. AFP

Why China’s mega-cities leave their citizens struggling

SEVEN BILLION PEOPLE: The world’s seven billionth person is likely to be born today. Beatriz Carrillo Garcia, lecturer in China Studies at the University of Sydney looks at effect a growing population…
Taxing international aviation emissions could help pay our climate change bill. Flickr/FatMandy

Cutting subsidies to fossil fuels could help Australia meet its financial climate commitments

Wealthy countries have committed to mobilise up to $US100 billion a year by 2020 for climate change action in developing countries. This is almost as much as the total amount of aid provided globally each…

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